August 23, 2017 / 10:25 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia gains on rate cut; Fed event in focus

    By Urvashi Goenka
    Aug 23 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares ended higher on
Wednesday after the central bank unexpectedly cut the interest
rate to boost sluggish lending and growth while most other
Southeast Asian stock markets were cautious ahead of a gathering
of central bank chiefs hosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve. 
    Indonesia became the second major Asian economy after India
to cut its benchmark policy rate this year, with Bank Indonesia
(BI) bringing the 7-day reverse repurchase rate
down by 25 basis points to 4.50 percent.
    Indonesian stocks ended 0.6 percent higher, helped
by energy and consumer staples stocks. 
    Further easing from BI seems likely before the year-end, ING
Research said in a note.
    Meanwhile, other Southeast Asian stock markets moved
sideways, in line with broader Asian shares,
which initially inched up to a two-week high, before giving up
the gains to trade flat. 
    Investors turned their focus to the U.S. central bank's
annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week where Fed
Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario
Draghi are slated to speak.
    "For this week, I think Asian markets will just take their
cue from Jackson Hole central bank event in which the spotlight
may likely focus on Yellen. In other words the Asian markets
will just track the U.S. markets," said said Edgar Lay, junior
equity analyst with AB Capital Securities.
    In Philippines, shares fell 0.2 percent, as
industrials and financials lost ground. Ayala Land fell
0.9 percent, while BDO Unibank lost 0.5 percent. 
    "I think this is not a surprise, the ghost season has
already commenced and historically the stock markets were
sluggish during this period showing less-than-normal trading
volume," Lay said.
    Analysts say China's "ghost season" stalls momentum in the
markets as some Chinese investors reduce trading during this
    "Investors are waiting for a catalyst that will further push
the markets up or down," Lay said.
    Singapore shares fell 0.1 percent, weighed down by
    The city-state's headline consumer price index in July rose
0.6 percent from a year earlier, helped by higher retail and
water prices, data showed on Wednesday.
    Malaysian shares edged down marginally as losses in
financials more than offset the gains in telecom and
industrials. AMMB Holdings fell 2.3 percent, while
Hong Leong Financial Group fell 0.8 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3260.05       3263.79      -0.11
  Bangkok          1573.38       1573.19      0.01
  Manila           7998.75       8015.93      -0.21
  Jakarta          5914.024      5880.297     0.57
  Kuala Lumpur     1772.94       1774.22      -0.07
  Ho Chi Minh      765.98        761.26       0.62
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3260.05       2880.76      13.17
  Bangkok          1573.38       1542.94      1.97
  Manila           7998.75       6840.64      16.9
  Jakarta          5914.024      5296.711     11.65
  Kuala Lumpur     1772.94       1641.73      7.99
  Ho Chi Minh      765.98        664.87       15.2
 (Reporting by Urvashi Goenka; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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