July 14, 2016 / 5:16 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Take a pause ahead of BoE policy decision

By Ruchira Kondepudi
    July 14 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets took a
breather on Thursday after three straight sessions of gains, as
investors awaited a policy meeting of the Bank of England where
it is expected to cut rates to ward off recession following
Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
    The BoE is expected to halve its benchmark interest rate to
a record low of 0.25 percent when it makes a monthly policy
statement later in the day.  
    Then, at its following meeting in three weeks' time, the
central bank is likely to revive its massive bond-buying
programme, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
    BoE Governor Mark Carney had indicated two weeks ago that
the central bank would need to pump more stimulus. 
    Investors are taking a wait-and-see stance ahead of stimulus
measures that various central banks are expected to roll out
soon, said Grace Aller, an analyst with Manila-based AP
    While the European Central Bank is expected to keep policy
on hold at its meeting next week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe has called for a fiscal stimulus, expected to reach about 2
percent of GDP, following his recent election victory. 
    "The valuations are pretty high at the moment, therefore
most investors are profit-taking. There are no real global
headwinds to pull down the markets, there aren't also any
catalysts to push the markets higher. So, it is consolidating at
the moment," she added.
    Indonesian shares shed 0.5 percent with telecoms and
basic materials among the top losers, while Singapore was
slightly down after three days of gains, as the city-state
reported a slower-than-expected economic growth for the
April-June period. 
    Vietnam shares rose 0.6 percent, helped by financials
such as BIDV Insurance Corp and consumer non-cyclicals.
    Asian markets were largely up, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hitting an
eight-month high. 
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  STOCK MARKETS                                            
  Change at 0415 GMT                                       
  Market               Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore            2907.07       2910.65      -0.12
  Bangkok              1480.3        1477.61      0.18
  Manila               7961.23       7944.02      0.22
  Jakarta              5109.568      5133.933     -0.47
  Kuala Lumpur         1656.59       1660.39      -0.23
  Ho Chi Minh          572.74        572.27       0.08
  Change on year                                  
  Market               Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore            2907.07       2882.73      0.84
  Bangkok              1480.3        1288.02      14.93
  Manila               7961.23       6952.08      14.52
  Jakarta              5109.568      4593.008     11.25
  Kuala Lumpur         1656.59       1692.51      -2.12
  Ho Chi Minh          572.74        579.03       -1.09
 (Reporting by Ruchira Kondepudi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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