(July 27): Most Southeast Asian stock markets declined on Friday as simmering U.S.-China trade tensions kept investor risk appetite low, while Indonesia extended gains on robust corporate earnings.
The United State and Europe have agreed to work towards lowering trade barriers, but talks between Washington and Beijing are on the edge with President Donald Trump accusing China of targeting American farmers through tariffs on soybeans, dairy, meat and produce exports.
The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on US$34 billion worth of goods from China. After Beijing retaliated in kind, Washington announced levies on an additional US$200 billion worth of products and threatened more.
Investor now await June-quarter U.S. GDP figures later in the session for cues about the world's top economy.
A July 18-23 poll of over 100 forecasters showed the U.S. economy, set to hit a growth rate of 4.1% in the quarter just ended, will lose some of its shine with growth easing each quarter, slipping to about half that rate in the final three months of 2019.
Philippine shares were the worst performer in Southeast Asia, shedding as much as 0.7% after three straight sessions of gains.
Industrials were the top losers with SM Investments Corp and Aboitiz Equity Ventures declining 1% and 2.3% respectively.
Malaysian shares edged lower after four consecutive sessions of gains, with losses in energy and financials accounting for most of the decline.
Dialog Group BHD was the top drag with a drop of 4.3% on lower oil prices. Crude oil prices fell, with Brent futures down 22 cents as of 0236 GMT.
Singapore shares fell marginally, dragged by industrials.
Singapore Airlines declined 5.5% to a three-week low, after reporting a 59% plunge in first-quarter profit on Wednesday.
Indonesian shares advanced for a sixth straight session, driven largely by consumer stocks.
Conglomerate PT Astra International Tbk rose 2.3%, after reporting an 11% jump in first-half net income.
The Thailand stock market was closed for a holiday.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
|Current||Previous close||Pct Move|
|Ho Chi Minh||936.14||930.16||0.64|
Change on year
|Market||Current||End 2017||Pct Move|
|Ho Chi Minh||936.14||984.24||-4.89|