Most SE Asian markets fall; Thailand bounces back in late trade

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BENGALURU (July 2): Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, tracking Asian peers as escalating Sino-US trade tensions and a private survey showing a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing growth hurt investor sentiment.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) declined to 51.0 in June from May's 51.1, as firms faced rising input costs and a decline in export orders amid an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

Official PMI released on Saturday did show a slowing of factory growth in June, with the manufacturing index slipping to 51.5 from May's 51.9.

Investors were also jittery ahead of a July 6 deadline when the United States is set to impose tariffs on US$34 billion worth of goods from China.

Indonesian shares fell 0.9% and marked their fourth session of decline in five, dragged by consumer and material stocks.

The annual inflation rate slowed less than expected in June and stayed within the central bank's target range, the statistics bureau said.

June's annual inflation rate was 3.12%, compared with May's 3.23% and analysts' expectation of 2.88%.

The central bank on Friday raised its benchmark rate for the third time in six weeks, by twice as much as the market had expected, in a bid to defend the fragile rupiah.

"A higher interest rate implies softened inflationary pressures," said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas, adding that investors were looking at inflation data for cues.

Astra International fell 5.3%, while Semen Baturaja (Persero) dropped 7.7%.

Vietnamese shares fell 1.4%, dragged by financials, even after data showed manufacturing activity in June hit the highest since March 2011.

Vietnam Technological and Commercial JSC and Vietinbank fell 4.1% and 4.7%, respectively.

Singapore shares dropped 0.9% to a nine-month closing low as financials and industrials dragged. DBS Group Holdings, the city-state's top lender, declined 0.9%.    

Thai shares erased losses in late trade to close 0.7% higher, with gains in industrial and telecom stocks outweighing losses in energy counters.

Airports of Thailand rose 2.8%, while Advanced Info Service gained 3.5%.

The annual headline consumer price index rose 1.38% in June, compared with a forecast of a 1.54% increase, and against May's 1.49% rise, commerce ministry data showed.

Change on the day

Market             Current  Previous close  % move
Singapore          3238.94  3268.7          -0.91
Bangkok            1607.27  1595.58         0.73
Manila             7227.96  7193.68         0.48
Jakarta            5746.77  5799.237        -0.90
Kuala Lumpur       1685.05  1691.5          -0.38
Ho Chi Minh        947.15   960.78          -1.42

Change on year

Market             Current  End 2017        % move
Singapore          3238.94  3402.92         -4.82
Bangkok            1607.27  1753.71         -8.35
Manila             7227.96  8558.42         -15.55
Jakarta            5746.77  6355.654        -9.58
Kuala Lumpur       1685.05  1796.81         -6.22
Ho Chi Minh        947.15   984.24          -3.77