Most SE Asian markets fall in line with Asia; Singapore, Thailand rise

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(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%.


Market          Current  Previous close  % move
Singapore       3291.69  3277.58         0.43
Bangkok         1661.06  1646.89         0.86
Manila          7333.57  7387.87         -0.73
Jakarta         5844.34  5871.077        -0.46
Kuala Lumpur    1751.6   1759.24         -0.43
Ho Chi Minh     935.37   943.97          -0.91

Change on year

Market          Current  End 2017        % move
Singapore       3291.69  3402.92         -3.27
Bangkok         1661.06  1753.71         -5.28
Manila          7333.57  8558.42         -14.31
Jakarta         5844.34  6355.654        -8.05
Kuala Lumpur    1751.6   1796.81         -2.52
Ho Chi Minh     935.37   984.24          -4.97