SE Asia Stocks-Fall on prospect of a smaller U.S. rate-cut; Singapore leads losses

By Anushka Trivedi

* Singapore to announce headline, core inflation rate on Tuesday * Thai shares slip after June exports decline By Anushka Trivedi July 22 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower on Monday, with Singapore leading losses, after a report dashed hopes of an aggressive interest rate cut by the U.S. central bank. The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that the Fed was likely to ease rates by 25 basis points by July-end, as opposed to an expected 50 bps cut. Last week, New York Fed President John Williams initially fuelled hopes of larger rate cut by calling for more stimulus but shortly after, his comments were recanted to show that they were meant to be observations rather than suggestions. Singapore's benchmark index slid the most in two weeks, weighed down by industrial and financial stocks. Shopping-mall landlord Capitaland Mall Trust dropped 1.5% ahead of second-quarter results announcement on Tuesday, while lender United Overseas Bank Ltd fell 0.5%. The city-state is due to release its headline and core inflation rate for June later on Tuesday, which is mostly expected to have slowed down, a Reuters poll showed. Meanwhile, Thai stocks edged lower after its exports fell for a fourth straight month in June, while imports also shrank. TMB Bank PCL, one of the country's biggest by market value, fell as much as 2.1% after reporting a decline in quarterly profit. Investors will stay watchful of financial conditions in the near term, such as share prices and corporate earnings in the U.S., to gauge the magnitude of the Fed's rate cuts, Eugene Leow, rates strategist at DBS, said. "Stock prices have been remarkably resilient thus far, suggesting that the easing cycle may be shallow", Leow added. Philippine stocks fell 0.3% to pare some of its earlier losses, with the industrial sector straining the benchmark. Marine port services provider International Container Terminal Services Inc dipped 2.8%. Earlier in the day, the company said it signed an agreement to acquire Libra Terminal Rio S.A. after winning the bid for the Brazil-based company last week. Indonesian shares ticked down, while Vietnam stocks were unchanged. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3357.22 3377.96 -0.61 Bangkok 1727.58 1735.1 -0.43 Manila 8246.83 8270.07 -0.28 Jakarta 6433.547 6456.539 -0.36 Kuala Lumpur 1655.4 1658.19 -0.17 Ho Chi Minh 982.04 982.34 -0.03 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3357.22 3068.76 9.40 Bangkok 1727.58 1563.88 10.47 Manila 8246.83 7,466.02 10.46 Jakarta 6433.547 6,194.50 3.86 Kuala Lumpur 1655.4 1690.58 -2.08 Ho Chi Minh 982.04 892.54 10.03 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)