Singapore falls; renewed trade war friction weighs

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BENGALURU (Aug 10): Singapore shares dropped on Friday as concerns over renewed US-China trade war friction and lower oil prices dented sentiment, while the absence of bullish news failed to propel the other Southeast Asian markets.

Singapore markets, which dropped as much as 1.6%, marked their worst intraday session in a month.

"There could be some risk reduction in Singapore markets amid renewed geopolitical uncertainty," said Wei Liang Chang, an FX strategist, Mizuho Bank.

"Furthermore, oil prices are dipping towards recent lows, and this could increase headwinds to the offshore marine sector and Singapore banks' loan portfolio," he added.

Oil prices fell on Friday, hit by concerns that the trade dispute between the world's largest economies would stall economic growth and fuel demand.    

The city-state's top lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd lost as much as 2.6%; Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd slipped as much as 3.25%, while conglomerate Keppel Corp fell up to 2.5%.

However, the bourse was on track to finish higher for a fourth week in five.    

Asian shares ex-Japan dipped 0.9%, snapping a five-session winning streak.

Trade tensions deepened following Washington's threat on Thursday that it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia after it found that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain.

Philippines shares traded steady, with industrials being the top boost. Shares of SM investments Corp rose as much as 1.6%.

The Philippine central bank on Thursday raised its key overnight borrowing rate by 50 basis points. The archipelago nation said its economic growth unexpectedly weakened to a near three-year low in the second quarter.

The Jakarta index recovered from previous session's losses to edge 0.5% higher. Bank Rakyat Indonesia jumped as much as 4.2%, while Bank Mandiri (Persero) gained up to 2%.

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

Malaysian stocks nudged higher; poised for a fifth straight weekly gain.

Consumer staples dragged Thai stocks lower with convenience store operator CP All Pcl slipping over 3%.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0522 GMT
Change on day

Market          Current   Previous Close  % move
Singapore       3285.72   3326.74         -1.23
Bangkok         1713.06   1722.48         -0.55
Manila          7833.39   7 820.71         0.16
Jakarta         6093.404  6065.256        0.46
Kuala Lumpur    1808.47   1804.95         0.20
Ho Chi Minh     955.47    963.5           -0.83

Change on year

Market          Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore       3285.72   3402.92         -3.44
Bangkok         1713.06   1753.71         -2.32
Manila          7833.39   8558.42         -8.47
Jakarta         6093.404  6355.654        -4.13
Kuala Lumpur    1808.47   1796.81         0.65
Ho Chi Minh     955.47    984.24          -2.92