Singapore, Indonesia drop amid China growth fears

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BENGALURU (Aug 30): Singapore and Indonesia tracked broader Asian shares lower on Thursday as fears of cooling economic growth in China amid its trade spat with the United States dampened investor sentiment.

Activity in China's vast factory sector likely slowed for the third straight month in August as domestic demand remained weak and exporters faced rising uncertainties from the escalating trade war with Washington, a Reuters poll showed.

The deadline for public comment on US President Donald Trump's tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese goods is on Sept 5, with the new measures possibly taking effect next month.

Indonesian shares closed 0.8% lower, paring early gains, on broad-based losses as the rupiah continues to lose ground.

Indonesia's central bank has intervened in the foreign exchange market to keep the rupiah from depreciating too fast and too sharply, an official said on Thursday. The currency has lost about 7% this year.

The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was down more than 1%. Telekomunikasi Indonesia fell 2%, while Bank Negara Indonesia declined nearly 3%.  

Singapore shares ended lower for a second consecutive session, weighed down by industrials and financials.

United Overseas Bank and Jardine Matheson Holdings fell 1.4% and 2%, respectively.

Philippines index climbed to an over three-month closing high, on gains in financial stocks.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp was the biggest boost to the benchmark, rising 5.4%, while GT Capital Holdings added 4.5%.

Malaysian shares were largely flat as losses in telecom stocks offset gains in financials and energy.

Telekom Malaysia was the biggest drag on the index, sliding more than 7%.

Thai shares ended marginally lower, snapping a three-session gaining streak, weighed down by consumer staples and energy stocks.

Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3225.72   3243.92         -0.56
Bangkok            1720.43   1722.26         -0.11
Manila             7853.16   7830.96         0.28
Jakarta            6018.964  6065.149        -0.76
Kuala Lumpur       1819.66   1820.64         -0.05
Ho Chi Minh        998.07    988.17          1.00

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3225.72   3402.92         -5.21
Bangkok            1720.43   1753.71         -1.90
Manila             7853.16   8558.42         -8.24
Jakarta            6018.964  6355.654        -5.30
Kuala Lumpur       1819.66   1796.81         1.27
Ho Chi Minh        998.07    984.24          1.41