U.S. Markets closed

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


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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)