Most SE Asian stocks fall on disappointing China data; Thailand down 1%

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(July 16): Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Monday, with Thailand falling 1%, as risk-off sentiment prevailed in broader Asia, and data showing China's economy and factory production growth slowing failed to whet investor appetite.

China's economy cooled in the second quarter, while industrial output projected slower-than-expected growth, pointing to slowing momentum and prompting some analysts to call for stronger government measures to support growth.

Investors are optimistic ahead of what is expected to be a strong second-quarter earnings season on Wall Street, and therefore, likely to redirect funds out of Asia to the United States, said Joel Ng, an analyst at KGI Securities.

"US stocks have been very vigilant, the Nasdaq has been hitting new highs lately, partly due to global repositioning of funds where they are headed towards developed countries and those with strong earnings growth."

Thai shares slid 1%, with Krungthai Card plunging 30% and Airports of Thailand down over 2.7%.

The Singapore index ended 0.9% lower, dragged sharply by financials.

DBS Group Holdings declined 1.5%, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp closed at its lowest since September.

Indonesian stocks declined 0.7%. Telekom Indonesia was down 2%, while Unilever Indonesia slipped 2.5%.

The index fell for its first weekly session in six.

Meanwhile, the country's trade balance returned to a larger-than-expected surplus in June, data showed.

Malaysian stocks erased early losses to mark their highest close in a month. Gains in telecommunication stocks offset losses in financials and energy sectors.

The country's annual inflation rate likely eased in June from the previous month, thanks to the withdrawal of a goods and services tax, a Reuters poll showed.

Philippine shares closed 0.4% lower, snapping four sessions of gains.

Index heavyweights SM Investments Corp was down 1.6% and Ayala Land fell 1.5%.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3232.79   3260.35         -0.85
Bangkok            1627.69   1643.52         -0.96
Manila             7369.44   7399.18         -0.40
Jakarta            5905.158  5944.074        -0.65
Kuala Lumpur       1726.67   1721.93         0.28
Ho Chi Minh        911.11    909.72          0.15

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3232.79   3402.92         -5.00
Bangkok            1627.69   1753.71         -7.19
Manila             7369.44   8558.42         -13.89
Jakarta            5905.158  6355.654        -7.09
Kuala Lumpur       1726.67   1796.81         -3.90
Ho Chi Minh        911.11    984.24          -7.43