SE Asian stocks fall as global economy risks pressure markets

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BENGALURU (Aug 16): Southeast Asian stocks fell on Thursday, pressured by an extending rout in Asian equities as Turkey's currency woes and protectionist US trade policies sparked jitters over the global economic health.

Worries of a growth slowdown in China also contributed to losses across global markets, after a slew of soft Chinese economic data out earlier this week.

Wall Street fell overnight in heavy trading as technology and retail stocks tumbled on risk aversion after disappointing earnings.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell to a one-year low on Thursday, having plunged about 4% since last week.

The lira had plunged to an all-time low at the start of the week as tensions between Ankara and Washington flared amid worries over President Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies.

"The trade war between the US and Turkey, which resulted in a free-fall of the Turkish lira, has affected emerging markets, especially Asia," said Manny Cruz, an analyst at Asiasec Equities.

Singapore shares fell 0.5% to a more than one-month low, set to extend losses into a fifth straight session. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd dropping about 1% each.

Indonesian shares slipped after closing higher on Wednesday, when the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate.

However, Bank Indonesia also flagged weaker economic growth for the year.

"Weakening growth will continue to drag market sentiment, and it should compel fund managers and foreign investors to continue selling," Cruz said.

The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks slipped 0.3%.

Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3218.57   3234.12         -0.48
Bangkok            1666.41   1676.29         -0.59
Manila             7507.22   7540.92         -0.45
Jakarta            5804.555  5816.59         -0.21
Kuala Lumpur       1778.27   1785.94         -0.43
Ho Chi Minh        952.91    961.37          -0.88

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3218.57   3402.92         -5.42
Bangkok            1666.41   1753.71         -4.98
Manila             7507.22   8558.42         -12.28
Jakarta            5804.555  6355.654        -8.67
Kuala Lumpur       1778.27   1796.81         -1.03
Ho Chi Minh        952.91    984.24          -3.18