SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish ahead of BOJ meet; Singapore slumps
By Hanna Paul July 28 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were largely sluggish on Thursday with investors watching from the sidelines as they awaited monetary easing steps by the Bank of Japan to support the government's larger-than-expected stimulus package. Japan's economy minister called on the central bank to work with the government to boost growth after the Japanese prime minister announced a 28 trillion yen ($267 billion) stimulus package on Wednesday. "Markets are watching out for the BOJ's reaction in relation to the announcement as there is no pre-commitment to anything specific yet," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Singapore-based Mizuho Corporate Bank. Singapore stocks ended 0.8 percent lower after two of the city-state's top banks voiced concerns about loans to the oil and gas sector. Sentiment took a further hit after local oilfield services firm Swiber Holdings said it was winding up, under the weight of crushing debt. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank fell 0.5 percent and 1.27 percent respectively. Malaysian stocks closed 0.3 percent lower, led by consumer cyclicals and consumer staple. The Philippines ended 0.9 percent lower, led by infrastructure firm Ayala Corp and conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, down 2 percent and 3 percent respectively. Thai stocks rose 0.5 percent, their biggest gain since May 2015 as the finance ministry kept the country's 2016 GDP outlook at 3.3 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2918.62 2941.49 -0.78 Bangkok 1524.58 1515.4 0.61 Manila 8024.98 8100.48 -0.93 Jakarta 5299.213 5274.361 0.47 Kuala Lumpur 1658.5 1663.56 -0.30 Ho Chi Minh 657.14 656.11 0.16 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2918.62 2882.73 1.25 Bangkok 1524.58 1288.02 18.37 Manila 8024.98 6952.08 15.43 Jakarta 5299.213 4593.008 15.38 Kuala Lumpur 1658.5 1692.51 -2.01 Ho Chi Minh 657.14 579.03 13.49 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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