(Feb 4): Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower in lacklustre trading on Monday, with Philippine and Indonesia indexes falling the most, as risk-averse investors remained on the sidelines ahead of Lunar New Year holiday.
The Philippine index was the biggest loser in the region falling nearly 1%, with markets in Malaysia and Singapore closing early on account of Chinese New Year.
"What we're seeing is traders taking potential risks off the board, because the quality of the markets will be lower than normal with the Chinese new year," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA based in Singapore.
"People like portfolio managers are really going to lighten up risks due to everybody else being away, because without all of those major players around the liquidity will be lot lower in markets."
Industrial and financial stocks dominated the losses in the Philippines, with SM Investments Corp and SM Prime Holdings Inc falling 1.8% each.
"The volume seems to be minimal so I think the market is just correcting since it rallied in the past two trading days," said Miguel Ong, a research analyst at AP Securities in Manila.
Philippines has had the strongest beginning to 2019 in Southeast Asia, having gained 8.08% so far.
Indonesian stocks dropped 0.9% snapping three sessions of gains, hurt by financials and consumer discretionaries. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT dipped 2.4%, while Astra International Tbk PT sank 3%.
Thai stocks bucked the trend rising marginally, supported by strong oil prices. Energy stocks PTT Exploration and Production Pcl gained 1.2%, while IRPC Pcl gained 1.7%.
Malaysian stocks erased early gains to close the session unchanged, while Singapore stocks ended the session slightly lower.
Vietnam markets were closed for a holiday.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day
|Market||Current||Previous close||Pct Move|
Change so far in 2019
|Market||Current||End 2018||Pct Move|