SE Asia Stocks-Trade in tight range as Fed's sunny outlook tempers sharp rate-cut hopes

By Soumyajit Saha

* Indonesia flat ahead of rate decision * Philippines top gainer By Soumyajit Saha July 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in a tight range on Thursday, as the U.S. Federal Reserve's bright domestic economic outlook curbed expectations of extensive policy easing and renewed tariff-war fears soured risk appetite. The Fed's Beige Book portrayed an economy that was largely in good shape ahead of a July 30-31 meeting at which the central bank is widely expected to reduce interest rates. Investors would likely remain in a "risk-off" mood, ING Group said in a note to clients. Markets are likely to "move sideways with a downward bias, digesting trade war concerns and the Fed Beige Book," it added. Risk sentiment was also dampened after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods if a trade deal did not come through. Singapore stocks fell slightly, hurt by the real estate sector. CapitaLand Ltd declined 1.1%, while Hongkong Land Holdings slipped 0.5%. Malaysian shares inched lower, dragged by resources stocks. Petronas Chemicals Group was down about 3.5%. Indonesian stocks were flat as losses in the financial sector offset gains in the resources and consumer sectors. Market participants awaited the central bank's policy rate decision due later in the day. The Bank Indonesia is expected to trim its 7-day reverse repo rate by 25 basis points, according to a Reuters poll. Philippine shares rose, helped by gains in the financial and industrial sectors. Miguel Ong, a research analyst with AP Securities, attributed it to expectations of strong second-quarter earnings. "Macro indicators are showing that there's a huge upside in terms of Q2 earnings," he said. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0337 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3359.14 3364.87 -0.17 Bangkok 1718.18 1718.85 -0.04 Manila 8259.43 8233.48 0.32 Jakarta 6394.943 6394.609 0.01 Kuala Lumpur 1655.86 1657.53 -0.10 Ho Chi Minh 977.68 982.57 -0.50 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3359.14 3068.76 9.46 Bangkok 1718.18 1563.88 9.87 Manila 8259.43 7,466.02 10.63 Jakarta 6394.943 6,194.50 3.24 Kuala Lumpur 1655.86 1690.58 -2.05 Ho Chi Minh 977.68 892.54 9.54 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)