Most SE Asian stocks slip on global growth concerns, Singapore leads fall

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BENGALURU (Jan 22): Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower on Tuesday, with Singapore leading the fall, as investors remained cautious after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut global growth forecasts on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In its World Economic Outlook report released on Monday, the IMF predicted the global economy will grow at 3.5% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020, down 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point, respectively, from last October's forecasts.

Adding to existing concerns of a slowdown, the IMF forecast cast a shadow on investor sentiment sending broader Asian stocks lower. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5%, drifting away from a recent seven-week high.

Singapore's index dropped 0.4%, posting the biggest fall in the region, hurt by financial and technology stocks. DBS Group Holdings Ltd's counter fell 1% and that of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd declined 0.8%.  

"The Singapore market has already enjoyed an almost 5% rise in 3 weeks. Some side-way movement is expected, especially with US equity futures pointing to some downside when it reopens," said Paul Chew, head of research at Phillip Securities.

The US stock futures were down in the range of 0.7-0.9%. The US stocks are set to snap four sessions of gains.

The Indonesian benchmark — on track to snap a five-session rally — dropped 0.3% with telecom and financial stocks driving the index lower.

Shares of Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk Perusahaan Perseroan dipped 1.7%, while those of Astra International Tbk PT shed 1.5%.

The Philippine stock market fell marginally, hurt by real estate and financial stocks.

Shares of SM Prime Holdings Inc dipped 1.4%, while those of Ayala Land Inc shed 1.2%.    

However, the Thai benchmark bucked the region's falling trend and rose 0.3%, driven by gains in healthcare and energy stocks.

Shares of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL and PTT PCL rose 2.3% and 0.5%, respectively.

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3209.2    3220.56         -0.35
Bangkok                1592.29   1588.38         0.25
Manila                 7994.53   8007.46         -0.16
Jakarta                6429.072  6450.834        -0.34
Kuala Lumpur           1690.66   1692.22         -0.09
Ho Chi Minh            911.53    911.05          0.05

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3209.2    3068.76         4.58
Bangkok                1592.29   1563.88         1.82
Manila                 7994.53   7,466.02        7.08
Jakarta                6429.072  6,194.50        3.79
Kuala Lumpur           1690.66   1690.58         0.00
Ho Chi Minh            911.53    892.54          2.13