Cautious; Philippines falls for 6th session

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(Sept 12): Southeast Asian stock markets ended on a cautious note on Wednesday, as broader Asian peers hit a 14-month low, amid worries of intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war, with Philippine shares extending losses to a sixth straight session.

Sentiment in broader Asia remained sombre with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan falling to its lowest levels since July 2017, after China on Tuesday said it wanted to impose US$7 billion a year in sanctions on Washington.

"South Asia market risk is an entirely different kettle of fish, and 'when in doubt, stay out', as there are few clear-cut risk decisions on the back of the looming China tariffs...," Stephen Innes, Head of Trading APAC, OANDA, said in a research note.

The Philippine index fell nearly 1% to its worst seven-week closing low, led by industrial stocks such as JG Summit, down 5.5%, and Aboitiz Equity
Ventures which hit a more than five-year trough.

A weakness in emerging market currencies including the Peso, coupled with quickening inflation in the Philippines has seen Manila's benchmark index shedding nearly 5% over the past six sessions.

Meanwhile, Singapore shares reversed course to end 0.6% higher, with lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp climbing nearly 1% and shipbuilder Keppel Corp gaining 2.2%.

Data showed the city-state's total retail sales for July declined 2.6% from a year earlier, dragged by a fall in motor vehicles sales.

"Market concerns about U.S.-Sino trade tensions could have contributed to dampened domestic consumer sentiments," OCBC Bank said in a note.

Indonesian shares erased early gains and ended 0.6% lower. Bank Central Asia and Telekom Indonesia, down about 2% each, were the biggest drags on the index. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks shed 0.7%.

Malaysian shares declined 0.8% to a near four-week low. Telecom group Axiata lost 2.2%.

Thailand ended 0.4% higher, while Vietnam added 0.2%.

Change on the day

Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3124.65 3109.91 0.47
Bangkok 1679.39 1672.42 0.42
Manila 7449.2 7518.01 -0.92
Jakarta 5798.151 5831.117 -0.57
Kuala Lumpur 1785.25 1799.17 -0.77
Ho Chi Minh 987.01 985.06 0.20

 Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move
Singapore 3124.65 3402.92 -8.18
Bangkok 1679.39 1753.71 -4.24
Manila 7449.2 8558.42 -12.96
Jakarta 5798.151 6355.654 -8.77
Kuala Lumpur 1785.25 1796.81 -0.64
Ho Chi Minh 987.01 984.24 0.28