August 2, 2016 / 4:41 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of cenbank decisions; Vietnam hits 1-mth low

By Anusha Ravindranath
    Aug 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on
Tuesday, with Vietnam leading the losses, as risk-averse
investors took a pause ahead of major central bank decisions on
interest rates.
    The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) board will meet on
Tuesday to judge if rates should be left at 1.75 percent or
trimmed a quarter point to a record low, while the Thai central
bank is expected to leave its policy rate unchanged, when the
policy committee meets on Aug. 3, according to a Reuters poll.
    "There is some risk aversion in the markets ahead of the two
central bank decisions," said Victor Felix, an analyst with AB
Capital Securities Inc in Manila. 
    Investors are largely expecting the Australian central bank
to cut rates by 25 basis points, he said, adding that investors
were cautious, especially after last week's BOJ stimulus package
fell short of expectations.
    The Japanese central bank expanded stimulus by doubling
purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETF), yielding to pressure
from the government and financial markets for bolder action.
However, the decision failed to appease investors who were
expecting a much heftier stimulus package. 
    A slump in crude oil prices overnight also hit sentiment on
Tuesday. Oil prices settled down nearly 4 percent on Monday on
heightened worries of a crude glut despite peak summer fuel
    Vietnam shares led the losses, sliding to their
lowest in one month, dragged down by energy stocks. Petrovietnam
Gas Joint Stock Corp was among the top losers.
    "Considering the market's movements, especially investors'
cautious sentiment, in the coming sessions, the market is likely
to remain in a cumulative correcting trend before forming a new
price level," Vietcombank Securities said in a note.
    Thai shares hit a one-week low, led by energy
stocks. Oil and gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production PCL
 dropped 2.5 percent.
    Singapore shares fell to a more than three-week low,
weighed down by bluechips Singapore Airlines and DBS
Group Holdings.
    Tracking modest falls on Wall Street, Asian shares edged
lower with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan down 0.2 percent in early trading.
  STOCK MARKETS                                        
 Change on 0417                                        
  Market           Current       previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2863.85       2880.69      -0.58
  Bangkok          1509.1        1512.62      -0.23
  Manila           8061.96       8069.81      -0.10
  Jakarta          5379.953      5361.576     0.34
  Kuala Lumpur     1659.11       1665.23      -0.37
  Ho Chi Minh      639.05        648.38       -1.44
 Change so far                                
 this year                                    
  Market           Current       End prev yr  Pct Move
  Singapore        2863.85       2882.73      -0.65
  Bangkok          1509.1        1288.02      17.16
  Manila           8061.96       6952.08      15.96
  Jakarta          5379.953      4593.008     17.13
  Kuala Lumpur     1659.11       1692.51      -1.97
  Ho Chi Minh      639.05        579.03       10.37

 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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