SE Asia Stocks-Philippines skids as investors book profits in heavyweights

By Anushka Trivedi

* Malaysia stock market closed for holiday * Indonesia sees best session in almost 2 weeks * Thai June factory output worse than f'cast By Anushka Trivedi July 30 (Reuters) - Philippine shares fell on Tuesday as investors locked in profits in heavyweight stocks, while other Southeast Asian markets were tepid ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting. The benchmark Philippine stock index declined 0.8%, with SM Investments Corp and Universal Robina Corp weighing on the index ahead of their quarterly results later this week. Prospects of monetary policy easing by the Philippine central bank and a widely expected rate cut by the Fed have helped keep the index buoyant for the past four months, with the benchmark on track for its biggest monthly gain since March. "Banks have been quite strong, but there are a lot of big names that are about to release their results... So, I think the market is just waiting for those results as catalysts before putting bigger positions," said Fio Dejesus, an equity research analyst at RCBC Securities. Other Southeast Asian markets traded in a tight range ahead of the Fed Policy meeting starting later in the day. A 25 basis point cut has mostly been factored in and investors now await the conclusion of the meeting on Wednesday to gauge the direction the Fed will take in the near-term. Market participants also kept a tab on the fresh round of dialogue between top officials from the United States and China in Shanghai to deescalate the tariff dispute. Indonesia's main board logged its best intraday gain in almost two weeks, on the back of telecom and material stocks. Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT rose 2.1% and PT Steel Pipe Industry of Indonesia Tbk jumped 10.8% to its highest in over five months. An index of Jakarta's 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.6%. Thai shares were little changed with data showing factory output missed forecasts in June. The country's manufacturing production index (MPI) in June fell 5.54% from a year earlier, dragged down by lower production of cars, rubber products and petroleum. Malaysia's stock market was closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3351.7 3346.39 0.16 Bangkok 1713.83 1717.97 -0.24 Manila 8123.96 8188.52 -0.79 Jakarta 6333.59 6299.035 0.55 Ho Chi Minh 997.82 997.94 -0.01 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3351.7 3068.76 9.22 Bangkok 1713.83 1563.88 9.59 Manila 8123.96 7,466.02 8.81 Jakarta 6333.59 6,194.50 2.25 Kuala Lumpur 1642.69 1690.58 -2.83 Ho Chi Minh 997.82 892.54 11.80 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)