SE Asian stocks muted amid caution over US-China trade outcome

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BENGALURU (Aug 29): Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Wednesday as a key deadline looms next week in the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.

The public comment period for 25% US tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese goods is set to end on Sept 5 and the tariffs are expected to take effect in late September.

Malaysian shares retreated from a three-month high hit in the previous session, weighed down by healthcare and telecom stocks.

Dialog Group, down nearly 3%, was the biggest drag, while medical gloves and equipment maker Hartalega Holdings Bhd slid nearly 4%.

Financials weighed on the Philippine index with BDO Unibank dropping 1%. Aboitiz Equity Ventures was the biggest drag on the benchmark, falling nearly 3%.    

Singapore stocks were marginally lower after two straight sessions of gains.

Conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings fell 1% while lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp retreated 0.6%.

Indonesian stocks ended 0.4% higher on the back of gains in consumer discretionary and energy stocks.

The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was up 0.6%.

Thai shares closed higher for a third straight session, eking out minor gains. PTT Global Chemical rose nearly 2% while real estate developer U City plunged over 30%.

Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3243.92   3247.55         -0.11
Bangkok            1722.26   1718.15         0.24
Manila             7830.96   7844.61         -0.17
Jakarta            6065.149  6042.65         0.37
Kuala Lumpur       1820.64   1826.9          -0.34
Ho Chi Minh        988.17    995.19          -0.71

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3243.92   3402.92         -4.67
Bangkok            1722.26   1753.71         -1.79
Manila             7830.96   8558.42         -8.50
Jakarta            6065.149  6355.654        -4.57
Kuala Lumpur       1820.64   1796.81         1.33
Ho Chi Minh        988.17    984.24          0.40