Indonesia hit by weak telecom earnings, Philippines slides

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(July 31): The Indonesian stock market slid on Tuesday after the country's largest telecom company reported a steep drop in first-half net income, while Philippine shares declined after a five-session winning run.

Meanwhile, most other Southeast Asian stock markets inched higher as global investors were awaiting cues from the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve.

The Bank of Japan pledged to keep interest rates "very low" for the time being and took measures to make its massive stimulus programme more flexible, reflecting its forecast that it would take time for inflation to hit its 2% target.

The Fed is expected to keep rates unchanged and reaffirm the outlook for future rate hikes at its two-day meeting that ends on Wednesday.

"Today's BOJ decision will be closely-watched with markets expecting some tweaks to its monetary stimulus program and if the Japanese government bond curve shifts higher by 10-15 bps, flows returning to Japan could pick up meaningfully," DBS said in a note.

"The upshot is the developing market yields in general could rise if the BOJ signals less-loose monetary policy."

Indonesian shares fell 1.6% and were set to snap a seven-session gaining run, after PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, the country's largest telecom company, dropped 6.7% after its half-year net income slumped 28%.

Indonesia's annual inflation rate in July likely increased slightly due to higher food prices, with the consumer price index (CPI) expected to climb 3.24% in July, according to a Reuters poll.

Philippine shares dropped 1.4% as index heavyweights Ayala Land and SM Investments Corp shed 3.1% and 1.3%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Thai shares were flat, with Advanced Info Service and Airports of Thailand PCL and Production PCL posting minor gains.

Thailand's annual headline inflation rate may have quickened in July and moved into the central bank's target range for a fourth straight month, with the median forecast of 12 economists expecting a 1.46% rise in headline consumer price index for July.

The country's manufacturing production index likely rose 3.0% in June from a year earlier after rising 3.20% in May, the Reuters poll showed.

Singapore shares gained a marginal 0.2% as gains in financials outweighed losses in industrials.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0445 GMT
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3312.45   3307.15         0.16
Bangkok            1701.46   1701.87         -0.02
Manila             7663.8    7773.32         -1.41
Jakarta            5934.126  6027.936        -1.56
Kuala Lumpur       1770.49   1770.26         0.01
Ho Chi Minh        956.76    949.73          0.74

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3312.45   3402.92         -2.66
Bangkok            1701.46   1753.71         -2.98
Manila             7663.8    8,558.42        -10.45
Jakarta            5934.126  6355.654        -6.63
Kuala Lumpur       1770.49   1796.81         -1.46
Ho Chi Minh        956.76    9 84.24          -2.79