SE Asia Stocks-Philippines jumps on policy easing hopes; weak data weighs on Malaysia

By Shreya Mariam Job

* Philippines September annual inflation slower than expected * Indonesia set to snap five sessions of losses * Malaysia August exports fall 0.8% By Shreya Mariam Job Oct 4 (Reuters) - Philippine shares rose over 1% on Friday as a slowing inflation in September raised hopes of further monetary easing by the country's central bank, while Malaysian stocks fell after its August exports widely missed estimates. Philippine inflation rate slackened to an over three-year low last month and was below the 1.1% forecast in a Reuters poll. Last year in September and October, inflation rate had peaked at a near-decade high of 6.7%. The current drop in prices gives room to the central bank to reverse some of last year's 175-basis points' worth of interest rate hikes. However, the index is set for its biggest weekly loss in nearly two months. Shares of Ayala Land and SM Prime Holdings gained 2.3% and 1.9%, respectively. Malaysian stocks fell 0.7% after its August exports slumped. The country's exports contracted after an unexpected rebound in the previous month. This compares to a Reuters poll estimate of a 2.5% increase. A 7% drop in shares of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd to a four-year low also weighed on the market following a block sale of around 31.6 million secondary shares of the company at 21 Malaysian ringgit($5.02) per share. Telecom stocks, meanwhile, were buoyed by a 1.5% rise in shares of Maxis Bhd, the country's second-largest mobile network operator by subscribers. Southeast Asian markets now await U.S. September non-farm payrolls data and Fed chair Jerome Powell's speech for further signs concerning the central bank's next rate decision. A flood of weak data from the world's largest economy could prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again this month. "Powell's remarks will also be sieved for clues as to policymakers' bias over the coming months, especially following waning confidence over the health of the world's largest economy," said by Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM. Among other markets, Indonesia gained 0.3%, buoyed by financial and consumer stocks, and was on track to snap five consecutive sessions of losses. Unilever Indonesia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia gained 0.8% and 3.2%, respectively. Singapore stocks slipped 0.3%, with financials and telecoms dragging the index. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0451 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3077.7 3087.97 -0.33 Bangkok 1611.41 1610.69 0.04 Manila 7630.04 7545.55 1.12 Jakarta 6059.269 6038.529 0.34 Kuala Lumpur 1553.76 1564.12 -0.66 Ho Chi Minh 991.91 989.67 0.23 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3077.7 3068.76 0.29 Bangkok 1611.41 1563.88 3.04 Manila 7630.04 7,466.02 2.20 Jakarta 6059.269 6,194.50 -2.18 Kuala Lumpur 1553.76 1690.58 -8.09 Ho Chi Minh 991.91 892.54 11.13 ($1 = 4.1820 ringgit) (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)