SE Asian stocks fall; Singapore slides as DBS profit disappoints

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(Aug 2): Singapore shares fell sharply on Thursday as quarterly earnings of Southeast Asia's biggest lender, DBS Group Holdings Ltd, fell short of expectations, while other regional markets inched lower amid renewed worries over the US-China trade conflict.

Broader Asian shares slumped on Thursday after Washington said on Wednesday President Donald Trump sought to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25% tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

"Higher tariffs on China has re-ignited possibilities of a trade war and if we look at US Treasuries — it has reached 3% once more and that has made a case for emerging markets to weaken," said Manny Cruz, analyst at Asiasec Equities Inc.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury note yield rose to its highest in 2½ months on Wednesday, breaking above 3%, after the government said it intended to boost borrowing in the bond market in the coming quarter.

Singapore shares shed 1.4%, set for their third losing session in seven, after DBS Group's second-quarter earnings missed market expectations as the impact of business volume growth was moderated by lower trading income.

Singapore's United Overseas Bank will report results on Friday, followed by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp next week.

Philippine shares also dropped, set for their third declining session in nine, as SM Investments Corp and Ayala Corp edged lower. The index gained more than 2% in the previous session.

Malaysian shares slipped and were headed for their first decline in nine sessions, ahead of the country's trade balance data due on Friday.

The trade surplus in Malaysia is expected to widen to RM10.1 billion (US$2.48 billion) in June, from RM8.1 billion in May.

Telecommunication and consumer goods stocks were the biggest pull on the index, with Sime Darby Plantation and Axiata group BHD dropping more than 1.5% each.

Indonesian shares held steady as losses in materials stocks outweighed gains in financials.

Change on the day

Market          Current      Previous close    % move
Singapore       3286.95      3329.01     -1.26
Bangkok         1716.12      1722.01     -0.34
Manila          7785.78      7838.22     -0.67
Jakarta         6026.492     6033.419    -0.11
Kuala Lumpur    1781.51      1788.31     -0.38
Ho Chi Minh      950.6        952.77      -0.23

Change on year

Market          Current      End 2017    % move
Singapore       3286.95      3402.92     -3.41
Bangkok         1716.12      1753.71     -2.14
Manila          7785.78      8558.42     -9.03
Jakarta         6026.492     6355.654    -5.18
Kuala Lumpur    1781.51      1796.81     -0.85
Ho Chi Minh     950.6        984.24      -3.42

(US$1 = RM4.0700)