By Ambar Warrick
July 21 (Reuters) – Most Southeast Asian stocks fell on
Friday, in line with Asian markets, after the European Central
Bank and the Bank of Japan kept rates steady and signalled that
they were in no hurry to start unwinding their massive stimulus
Asian markets edged down, with MSCI’s broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which has
gained about 5 percent in the past two weeks, easing 0.2
The ECB did not even discuss clawing back stimulus at its
meeting on Thursday, suggesting it may delay an inevitable
decision on tapering bond buys until the last possible moment.
The Bank of Japan once again pushed back the timing for
achieving its ambitious inflation target, with BOJ Governor
Haruhiko Kuroda arguing that maintaining its massive stimulus
alone would help boost growth and inflation.
“With both the ECB and BOJ sounding a tad cautious,
financial markets may revert to business as usual mode today,”
OCBC Bank said in a research note.
In Southeast Asia, Philippine stocks dropped to their
lowest in more than one week, led by financials.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust posted its biggest
intraday percentage drop since November 2016, while GT Capital
Holdings fell to a near two-month low.
Indonesian stocks shed as much as 0.5 percent,
dragged down by consumer discretionary and financial stocks.
Indonesia’s central bank held benchmark interest rates
unchanged, although it said the economy likely grew more slowly
than initially expected in the second quarter.
“Thursday’s statement offered no strong hint that BI (Bank
Indonesia) is about to tweak its policy stance anytime soon,”
said DBS Bank said in a research note. “As long as rupiah
stability is maintained, it is likely that BI will stand pat in
August as well.”
An index of the region’s 45 most liquid stock fell
as much as 0.7 percent.
Astra International dropped to a more than
two-month low, while Bank Mandiri shed as much as 2.2
Singapore stocks however rose as much as 0.4 percent,
led by real estate and telecommunication shares.
CapitaLand Ltd hit a near three-month high, while
Singapore Telecommunications posted its biggest
intraday percentage gain in one week.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change as of 0324 GMT
Change on day
Market Current previous Pct Move
Singapore 3302.93 3293.13 0.30
Bangkok 1576.19 1575.28 0.06
Manila 7855.78 7904.34 -0.61
Jakarta 5802.867 5825.208 -0.38
Kuala Lumpur 1753.16 1755.63 -0.14
Ho Chi Minh 767.75 768.41 -0.09
Change so far in 2017
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3302.93 2880.76 14.65
Bangkok 1576.19 1542.94 2.15
Manila 7855.78 6840.64 14.84
Jakarta 5802.867 5296.711 9.56
Kuala Lumpur 1753.16 1641.73 6.79
Ho Chi Minh 767.75 664.87 15.47
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju