(July 20): Singapore and Thai shares extended gains on Friday, driven by financials, while other Southeast Asian markets fell in line with broader Asia.
Asian shares ex-Japan slipped on concerns China's currency management could become the next flash point in a fierce trade conflict with the United States, after the central bank lowered its midpoint for the yuan for a seventh straight session and to its lowest in a year.
Global investor sentiment was also subdued as officials from the EU Trade Commission are said to be preparing a list of tit-for-tat actions in response to proposed US tariffs on EU cars.
Singapore shares rose for a fourth consecutive session to a one-month high, with DBS Group Holdings climbing 1.1% and United Overseas Bank gaining 1%.
Thai shares gained for a third consecutive session, with Kasikornbank jumping 4.3% on upbeat quarterly earnings, while PTT PCL rose 2.5%.
Indonesian shares fell after the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday, as expected, taking a pause in its monetary tightening cycle aimed at bolstering the rupiah, though emphasising it was still ready to support the currency.
The rupiah hit a near three-year low on Friday.
The puzzling movement of the rupiah despite impressive interest rate hikes has the market a little concerned, said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
Investors now have to reassess the economy and recalibrate their investment strategies, he added.
Financials took a beating on Friday with Bank Central Asia declining 0.9% and Astra International shedding 0.8%.
The key Jakarta stock index was down more than 1.5% for the week, heading for its fourth weekly decline in five.
Vietnam shares fell after six consecutive sessions of gains, while Philippine stocks declined for a second straight session.
SM Investments Corp slipped 2.4%, while power generator Aboitiz Equity Ventures fell as much as 4.3% to a three-year low.
Malaysian shares were down after nine straight session of gains with electricity supplier Tenaga Nasional shedding 1.3%.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0434 GMT
|Market||Current||Previous close||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||935.37||943.97||-0.91|
Change on year
|Market||Current||End 2017||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||935.37||984.24||-4.97|