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Southeast Asia stocks: Singapore falls as core inflation outlook lowered

Singapore stocks declined on Friday as authorities trimmed full-year inflation forecast towards the lower half of their guidance range, while last-minute buying in blue chips saw Philippine shares reverse course to end higher.
The city state’s core inflation eased to its slowest pace in more than three years in July, in further evidence of weakened economic condition.

Singapore shares <.STI> fell 0.6% for the day, with Hutchison Port Holdings Trust and Hongkong Land Holdings retreating 5.7% and 2.3%, respectively.

The benchmark stock index was down nearly 1.8% for the week.

Meanwhile, uncertainty about how much further the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates also rattled investors who keenly await Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at a gathering of policymakers later in the day. [MKTS/GLOB]

Thai stocks ended 0.8% higher and were the top performer in Southeast Asia, with nearly all sectors closing higher.

Communication and industrial stocks largely underpinned gains, with telecom company Total Access Communication Pcl adding 4.6%.

Vietnam shares <.VNI> snapped seven sessions of gains on Friday but gained 1.3% for the week.

Philippine equities <.PSI> closed 0.5% higher, bouncing back from a 0.5% drop earlier, due to a spurt in buying of large caps including JG Summit Holdings, SM Investments Corp and Ayala Corp just few minutes before close.

Shares of JG Summit jumped 3% in the last 15 minutes of trade to end up 1.9%.

The Manila stock index ended four weeks of declines and added 1.2% this week.

Philippine financial markets are closed on Monday for a holiday.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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