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SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of ECB meet; BOJ keeps rates steady
July 20, 2017 / 4:17 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of ECB meet; BOJ keeps rates steady

    By Ambar Warrick
    July 20 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
sluggish on Thursday ahead of a meeting by the European Central
Bank, with investors looking for cues on how it will unwind
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.
    "The 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.

    Separately, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on
Thursday, as widely expected, and pushed back by a year the
timing for achieving its ambitious 2 percent inflation target,
reinforcing expectations it will lag well behind other major
central banks in scaling back its massive stimulus programme.
 
    "I think what's important is their (the central banks')
statements on the health of their respective economies," said
Lexter Azurin, a senior analyst with Manila-based AB Capital
Securities. 
    In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares rose marginally,
led by financials and real estate stocks. Metropolitan Bank and
Trust rose as much as 1.2 percent, while Ayala Land
 gained 0.7 percent.
    "Philippine markets are rising because most investors are
anticipating favourable second-quarter earnings," Azurin said.
    Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.3 percent, with
consumer staples and industrial stocks leading the gainers.
    Unilever Indonesia rose as much as 1.1 percent,
while Waskita Karya saw its biggest intraday
percentage gain in over one month.
    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;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change as of 0321 GMT
    
  Change on day                                             
  Market                   Current      previous    Pct Move
                                        close       
  Singapore                3320.48      3325.07     -0.14
  Bangkok                  1577.22      1575.85     0.09
  Manila                   7979.16      7972.9      0.08
  Jakarta                  5819.843     5806.69     0.23
  Kuala Lumpur             1755.3       1757.27     -0.11
  Ho Chi Minh              767.73       771.3       -0.46
                                                    
  Change so far in 2017                             
  Market                   Current      End 2016    Pct Move
  Singapore                3320.48      2880.76     15.26
  Bangkok                  1577.22      1542.94     2.22
  Manila                   7979.16      6840.64     16.64
  Jakarta                  5819.843     5296.711    9.88
  Kuala Lumpur             1755.3       1641.73     6.92
 Ho Chi Minh               767.73       664.87      15.47
 

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; ; Editing by Biju
Dwarakanath)
  

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