SE Asian stocks fall ahead of Powell speech; S'pore down over 1%

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(Aug 24): Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday after Sino-US trade talks ended without any major breakthrough, while investors braced for a speech from US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for clues on the direction of monetary policy.

Powell is due to give a speech later in the day at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference of central bankers. Where he stands on the pace of interest rate hikes will be scrutinised after minutes from the Fed's most recent policy meeting indicated the central bank would tighten monetary policy soon.

Asian shares ex-Japan fell 0.4% after US and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday with no major breakthrough. At the same time, their trade war escalated with another round of duelling tariffs on US$16 billion worth of each country's goods taking effect.

In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares fell 0.5% after two straight sessions of gains, but posted a weekly rise of 2.4%.

"US-China trade tension has affected sentiment on emerging markets like Philippines. We are seeing some outflows of foreign investments, so it is sentiment-driven today," said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities.

Property developer Megaworld Corp fell 5.3%, while Bank of the Philippine Islands shed 3.2%.

Singapore shares closed over 1% lower after the previous session's sharp gains, dragged by financials.

Lenders DBS Group Holdings Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd shed over 1.5% each.

The city-state's industrial production growth slowed slightly on-year in July from a month ago, but still came in above forecasts, data showed.

Malaysian shares snapped four straight sessions of gains, but closed the week higher by 1.4%.

Public Bank Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd were the biggest drag declining about 1.6% each.

Vietnam shares closed flat, but posted their sixth straight weekly gain. Indonesian shares snapped three straight session of gains, while Thailand closed little changed.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day

Market             Current        Previous close      % move
Singapore          3213           3249.89       -1.14
Bangkok            1703.82        1704.8        -0.06
Manila             7766.47        7804.03       -0.48
Jakarta            5968.75        5982.985      -0.24
Kuala Lumpur       1808.59        1810.87       -0.13
Ho Chi Minh        987.05         987.36        -0.03

Change on year

Market             Current        End 2017      % move
Singapore          3213           3402.92       -5.58
Bangkok            1703.82        1753.71       -2.84
Manila             7766.47        8558.42       -9.25
Jakarta            5968.75        6355.654      -6.09
Kuala Lumpur       1808.59        1796.81       0.66
Ho Chi Minh        987.05         984.24        0.29