July 21, 2016 / 5:31 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Subdued ahead of ECB meeting, U.S. jobless claims data

By Aparajita Saxena
    July 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
slipped on Thursday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead
of the European Central Bank's policy meeting, U.S. jobless
claims and Philly Fed manufacturing data due later in the day.
    While the ECB is seen standing pat on policy, the market
expects the central bank to hint at future monetary policy
easing, forecast to come as early as September. 
    "The outcome of the ECB meeting, along with data from the
U.S., will set the tone for economic growth," said Alex Tiu, an
analyst with AB Capital Securities Inc in Manila.    
    Investors are expected to be bullish ahead of the Bank of
Japan's policy meeting next week, he said, adding that:
"Stimulus from Japan will push investors to go for more riskier
assets. We can expect further devaluation in the yen. Analysts
expect more stimulus and a rate cut from Japan is definitely in
    Meanwhile, Indonesian shares rose ahead of the
central bank's policy meeting later in the day where it is
expected to cut its policy rate for a fifth time this year in a
bid to help lift annual growth back above 5 percent.
    Financials stocks were among the top gainers, with PT Bank
Central Asia Tbk, the country's biggest lender by
market value, rising to its highest level in nearly three months
on strong half-yearly earnings. 
    Malaysian shares were headed for a third straight
session of losses, dragged down by healthcare stocks including
IHH Healthcare Bhd. 
    Singapore authorities seized assets worth S$240 million in
an investigation of 1MDB-related fund flows for possible money
laundering, in a probe which has found "deficiencies" at several
major banks in the city-state. 
    Philippine shares were on track to snap two sessions
of gains, with industrials losing the most, while Thailand
 and Vietnam were flat. 
    For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                                
  Change at 0445 GMT                                           
  Market              Current       Previous Close    Pct Move
  Singapore           2940.74       2945.74           -0.17
  Bangkok             1509.24       1510.03           -0.05
  Manila              8032.03       8051.97           -0.25
  Jakarta             5263.208      5242.823          0.39
  Kuala Lumpur        1662.72       1669.61           -0.41
  Ho Chi Minh         658.94        660.26            -0.20
  Change on year                                      
  Market              Current       End 2015          Pct Move
  Singapore           2940.74       2882.73           2.01
  Bangkok             1509.24       1288.02           17.18
  Manila              8032.03       6952.08           15.53
  Jakarta             5263.208      4593.008          14.59
  Kuala Lumpur        1662.72       1692.51           -1.76
  Ho Chi Minh         658.94        579.03            13.80
 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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