Most SE Asia stocks subdued on Europe-U.S. trade tensions, IMF outlook

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(April 10): Most Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Wednesday as investors exercised caution, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its outlook on global economy and as Washington said it was considering tariffs on European goods.

Amid concerns of slowing global growth, the IMF on Tuesday said global economy will likely grow 3.3% in 2019, the slowest expansion since 2016. This marks the global lender's third downgrade since October.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to impose tariffs on US$11 billion worth of European Union products, heightening tensions over a long-running transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute and opening a new front in his global trade war.

Trading was sombre across most mainland markets amid various global negative drivers. Broader Asian markets also slipped from their eight-month high with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.1%.

Resuming trade after a holiday, the Philippine index closed 1.2% firmer, its highest since March 22.

"(The gain) might be related to the updated timetable to the passing of the budget. According to government officials, they expect the president to sign the budget before the holy week holiday (next week)," said Fio Dejusus, an equity research analyst, RCBC Securities.

Shares of industrial heavyweights SM Investments Corp  and SM Prime Holdings Inc gained 1.5% and 1.7% respectively. 

Vietnam stocks extended declines into a second session to end 0.7% weaker, with losses in financial and real estate shares denting the index. 

Vinhomes JSC closed 1.4% weaker, while Joint Stock Commercial Bank For Foreign Trade of Viet Nam fell 1.3%.  

The Indonesian index closed lower for the day, pulled down by consumer and healthcare stocks. 

Leading Indonesian coal companies also ended in the red, after China's move to cap coal imports this year at 2018 levels, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, to support domestic producers. Indonesia is China's biggest supplier of thermal coal.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change on the day

Singapore 3327.65 3325.6 0.06
Bangkok 1662.13 1657.74 0.26
Manila 8008.53 7915.63 1.17
Jakarta 6478.326 6484.348 -0.09
Kuala Lumpur 1639.46 1641.94 -0.15
Ho Chi Minh 981.91 988.48 -0.66
Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Change so far in 2019

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move
Singapore 3327.65 3068.76 8.44
Bangkok 1662.13 1563.88 6.28
Manila 8008.53 7,466.02 7.27
Jakarta 6478.326 6,194.50 4.58
Kuala Lumpur 1639.46 1690.58 -3.02
Ho Chi Minh 981.91 892.54 10.01