July 20, 2017 / 10:01 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end lower ahead of ECB meeting

    By Ambar Warrick
    July 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
lower on Thursday as an upcoming meeting by the European Central
Bank kept investors skittish and looking for cues on a much
anticipated unwinding of unconventional policy that has kept
borrowing costs at rock bottom.
    The ECB meeting later in the global day is expected to lay
the groundwork for an autumn policy shift, after President Mario
Draghi last month opened the door to tweaks in a speech that was
viewed as unexpectedly hawkish.
    "Authorities are expected to prepare the ground for a
gradual tapering exercise, which implies slower pace of stimulus
rather than reversing course to tighten policy," DBS Bank said
in a research note, referring to the ECB meeting.
    Most analysts polled by Reuters expect no change in policy,
but a sizable minority predicted a tweak in the bank's guidance.

    Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on
Thursday as widely expected.
    In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares snapped five
consecutive sessions of gains and closed about 1 percent lower,
weighed down by financials. 
    United Overseas Bank fell 2.4 percent, while DBS
Group closed down 1.9 percent.
    Philippine shares gave up early gains to end 0.86
percent lower, dragged down by industrial and real estate
    Power generator Aboitiz Equity Ventures fell 2.9
percent to its lowest close in over four-and-a-half months,
while SM Prime Holdings dropped 2.8 percent.
    Indonesian shares, however, closed 0.32 percent
higher, with consumer staples and energy stocks leading the
    Unilever Indonesia ended 1.6 percent higher, while
Adaro Energy rose 3.12 percent to its highest close in
nearly three months.
    Indonesia's real GDP growth is expected to rise to 5.2
percent in 2017 and 5.6 percent in 2018, from 5.0 percent in
2016, Fitch Ratings said. 

For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on the day                                         
  Market                   Current      previous    Pct Move
  Singapore                3293.13      3325.07     -0.96
  Bangkok                  1575.28      1575.85     -0.04
  Manila                   7904.34      7972.9      -0.86
  Jakarta                  5825.208     5806.69     0.32
  Kuala Lumpur             1755.63      1757.27     -0.09
 Ho Chi Minh               768.41       771.3       -0.37
  Change so far in 2017                             
  Market                   Current      End 2016    Pct Move
  Singapore                3293.13      2880.76     14.31
  Bangkok                  1575.28      1542.94     2.09
  Manila                   7904.34      6840.64     15.55
  Jakarta                  5825.208     5296.711    9.98
  Kuala Lumpur             1755.63      1641.73     6.94
 Ho Chi Minh               768.41       664.87      15.57
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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