Most fall on renewed global trade war pressures

-A +A

(Sept 3): Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, in line with broader Asia, after the United States and Canada failed to revamp their trade agreement, while fears of an escalation in a bitter U.S.-China trade dispute also hit sentiment.

Contentious talks between the United States and Canada ended on Friday, with no deal to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after the mood soured, while U.S. President Donald Trump signalled his intent to sign a bilateral trade pact with Mexico.

Talks are set to resume on Wednesday, with the aim of reaching a deal all three nations can sign.

"The chance of a reduction in tensions on this (NAFTA) front has lessened, while we also know Europe is readying to hit back, if President Trump imposes tariffs on cars and goes after the bloc", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at Sydney-based AxiTrader.

"And then we have China, pushed into a corner and unlikely to be able to do a deal".

Trump said last week that he was ready to implement new tariffs as soon as a public comment period on the plan ended on Thursday, which would be a major escalation following U.S. tariffs on US$50 billion of exports from China.

Singapore stocks fell for a fourth straight session, hitting a near two-week low, bruised by losses in industrial and telecom stocks. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd was the top drag on the benchmark with a 1% decline, while Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd slid 1.8%.

Faltering telecom stocks also led the decline in Malaysian shares, with the benchmark slipping for the third straight session. The index was closed on Friday for a holiday.

Axiata Group and SIME Darby Plantation fell 2.3% and 1.7% respectively.

The Jakarta index fell ahead of the release of annual inflation data, as losses in materials shares outweighed gains in consumer staples and telecom stocks.

Indonesia's annual inflation likely picked up in August, though the pace may remain comfortably within the central bank's target range for the year, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

Astra International was among the biggest drags, sliding 1%, while Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa shed some 2%. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was down 0.3%.

Thai shares rose slightly, helped by consumer staples and healthcare stocks. Data released Monday showed Thai annual headline consumer price index rose 1.62% in
August, beating a 1.54% rise forecast in a Reuters poll.

Charoen Pokphand Foods climbed nearly 2%, while Thai Oil rose 1.2%.
    
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0343 GMT:

Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3200.77 3213.48 -0.40
Bangkok 1722.16 1721.58 0.03
Manila 7826.01 7855.71 -0.38
Jakarta 6000.602 6018.46 -0.30
Kuala Lumpur 1817.12 1819.66 -0.14
Ho Chi Minh 989.54 998.07 -0.85

Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move
Singapore 3200.77 3402.92 -5.94
Bangkok 1722.16 1753.71 -1.80
Manila 7826.01 8558.42 -8.56
Jakarta 6000.602 6355.654 -5.59
Kuala Lumpur 1817.12 1796.81 1.13
Ho Chi Minh 989.54 984.24 0.54