PSEi falls to a near one-week low
BANGKOK - The Philippine stock index fell to a near one-week low while other Southeast Asian markets remained range-bound as lower June inflation in China raised concerns over weak demand that could hurt growth in the world's second largest economy.
The Philippine index was down 0.9 percent at 0618 GMT, after touching its lowest since June 3, led by shares of financial companies amid expectations of an interest rate hike.
Although Philippine inflation slowed slightly in June, growing price pressures have been adding to expectations the central bank will raise interest rates for the first time in three years, possibly as early as this month.
China's consumer inflation cooled slightly more than expected in June, pointing to lingering weakness in the economy which could prompt Beijing to launch further stimulus measures to shore up growth.
The Singapore index was down 0.5 percent while Malaysia .KLSE traded 0.1 percent weaker.
Bucking the trend, the Thai benchmark index .SETI was up 0.2 percent at the midday break, recovering from an early decline tracking a fall in Wall Street shares and a broad weakness in Asian stock markets.
Investors awaited quarterly results of Thai banks due next week onwards, stockbrokers said.
"The second-quarter earnings season is approaching for the Thai stock market as evidenced by active earnings plays in the banking space," broker Phillip Securities said in a report.
Among gainers, Siam Commercial Bank edged up 0.5 percent and Bangkok Bank rose 0.75 percent.
The Jakarta stock market was closed for a holiday due to presidential elections, keenly monitored by investors.