March 5, 2019 / 3:46 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines rises on slowing inflation; others fall

    * Philippines' annual inflation eases to 1-yr low of 3.8 pct
    * Singapore snaps two sessions of gains
    * Malaysian stocks poised for sixth straight session of

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    March 5 (Reuters) - Philippine shares climbed on Tuesday as
the country's inflation cooled in February, while other
Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued as a rally fuelled by
hopes for an imminent Sino-U.S. trade deal ran out of steam.
    Data released in early trading hours showed the Philippines'
annual inflation eased to a one-year low of 3.8 percent last
month on slower gains in food, fuel and utility prices, and
marked a return to the central bank's 2-4 percent target for the
    With inflation back within the target range, it is likely to
provide more leeway to the central bank to reverse some of last
year's tightening, when it hiked rates five times to tackle
soaring inflation.
    Financials and consumer stocks lifted the archipelago's
benchmark stock index 0.6 percent higher, with lender BDO
Unibank Inc and real estate firm Ayala Land Inc
 advancing 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a surprise
appointment on Monday by naming his budget secretary as the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, even as the market
expected to see a central bank insider take the helm of the
monetary authority. 
    Among other markets in the region, Singapore reversed
course from the previous session and fell 0.3 percent as data
showed the city-state's manufacturing activity contracted for a
sixth straight time in February.
    Markets had rallied in the previous session amid reports the
United States and China were close to striking a deal to end
their year-long damaging trade spat.
    "Asian markets may need fresh catalysts for the next move
higher beyond jawboning for the U.S.-China trade deal," OCBC
Bank said in a note.
    Industrial and consumer stocks led declines on the Singapore
index, with Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd
 dipping 0.3 percent, while Jardine Cycle & Carriage
Ltd lost 1.2 percent.
    The Jakarta SE Composite Index dropped 0.8 percent,
with all sectors in the red. 
    Malaysian shares were set to extend losses for a
sixth straight session, ahead of the central bank's policy
    Bank Negara Malaysia will likely keep its benchmark
overnight rate at 3.25 percent at a policy review
on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, even as consumer prices on an
annual basis fell in January for the first time in nearly a
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3241.53   3251.08         -0.29
 Bangkok                1632.84   1635.3          -0.15
 Manila                 7717.92   7675.47         0.55
 Jakarta                6436.598  6488.42         -0.80
 Kuala Lumpur           1689.28   1693.99         -0.28
 Ho Chi Minh            993.92    993.99          -0.01
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3241.53   3068.76         5.63
 Bangkok                1632.84   1563.88         4.41
 Manila                 7717.92   7,466.02        3.37
 Jakarta                6436.598  6,194.50        3.91
 Kuala Lumpur           1689.28   1690.58         -0.08
 Ho Chi Minh            993.92    892.54          11.36
 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier)
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