Start data-heavy week on back foot; trade war fears linger

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(July 2): Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday on caution ahead of a raft of economic data this week, while sentiment remained weak as the July 6 deadline when the U.S. is due to impose US$34 billion of tariffs on Chinese exports is fast approaching. 

Asian shares excluding Japan were about 0.4% lower, after losing 2% last week, as trade concerns clouded the outlook for Chinese growth.

In regional markets, Vietnam's Ho-Chi-Minh index declined as much as 2.4%, despite strong June manufacturing figures, as financials and real estate stocks weighed on the benchmark.

Vietcombank and Vinhomes JSC's down 3.3% and 1.3% respectively, were the biggest drag on the index.

Indonesia's benchmark index rose as gains in energy and financial stocks outweighed losses in materials and consumer staples.

Financials got a fillip after the country's central bank on Friday raised its benchmark rate by twice as much as the market expected on Friday in a bid to defend the rupiah. 

"Last Friday's move was unexpected and is a very strong message that the central bank is unwilling to tolerate further weakness of the rupiah," said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

However, investors will keep a close eye on inflation data due later in the day, he added.

According to a Reuters poll, Indonesia's annual inflation rate in June is seen slowing at 2.88%, compared with 3.23% a month earlier.

Energy stocks dragged the Thai benchmark index 0.2% lower, after oil prices fell by more than one percent on Monday on rising supplies in Saudi Arabia. 

Oil and Gas explorer PTT Pcl was 0.5% lower, while its unit PTT Exploration and Production Pcl fell 4.6%.    

Data from the country's commerce ministry showed headline inflation rose 1.38% in June, albeit at a slower pace.

Singapore stocks fell 0.7% dragged by financials and industrials, with lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, down more than 1%, leading the losses.

Philippine shares rose, led by industrials and telecom stocks. Ayala Land rose 1.5% and SM Investments Corp added 2.2%.

The archipelago is due to release its core inflation data on Thursday.
     
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: 
CHANGE AS AT 0430 GMT
        
 Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3247.47 3268.7 -0.65
Bangkok 1592.77 1595.58 -0.18
Manila 7219.99 7193.68 0.37
Jakarta 5816.394 5799.237 0.30
Kuala Lumpur 1683.38 1691.5 -0.48
Ho Chi Minh 939.91 960.78 -2.17


                                              
 Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move
Singapore 3247.47 3402.92 -4.57
Bangkok 1592.77 1753.71 -9.18
Manila 7219.99 8558.42 -15.64
Jakarta 5816.394 6355.654 -8.48
Kuala Lumpur 1683.38 1796.81 -6.31
Ho Chi Minh 939.91 984.24 -4.50