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Singapore falls further ahead of policy review; Philippines recovers

Singapore falls further ahead of policy review; Philippines recovers

BENGALURU: Singapore shares extended falls on Monday ahead of a central bank policy review this week, while Philippine stocks rose after two straight sessions of declines.

A slim majority in a Reuters poll of economists predict a tightening at the policy review on Friday, with the bank seen trying to balance the risks to growth and inflation amid global trade frictions.

The central bank’s semi-annual policy statement will also have the government’s advance estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product, which likely grew 2.5 percent year-on-year, down from 3.9 percent in April-June.

Singapore’s FTSE Straits Times Index declined for a third straight session with Jardine Matheson Holdings shedding as much as 1.1 percent, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp fell 0.8 percent.

Broader Asian markets declined following Chinese markets which opened lower after a week-long holiday, despite its central bank slashing banks’ reserve requirements, a sign of underlying investor anxiety over a heated Sino-U.S. trade war.

The People’s Bank of China cut the level of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the fourth time this year, stepping up moves to lower financing costs and spur growth amid concerns over the economic drag from an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

Meanwhile, Philippine shares recovered after shedding 2.7 percent last week in their fifth consecutive weekly decline.

Data released on Friday showed annual inflation accelerated last month to its highest in almost a decade, although officials say they see signs that inflation may have already peaked.

Telecom and financial stocks were among the top boosts with PLDT Inc gaining 3.5 percent and BDO Unibank rising 1.5 percent.

Vietnam stocks declined 0.3 percent to a more than two-week low, hurt by utilities and consumer stocks.