Most SE Asian stocks fall as US-China trade thaw fails to impress investors

-A +A

BENGALURU (Sept 12): Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Thursday, with Indonesia falling the most, as signs of relief in the US-China trade conflict failed to boost sentiment.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday reciprocated to Beijing's move to exempt levying charges on some American imports by announcing a two-week delay to a scheduled tariff increase on US$250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

"External environment has turned worse since the last meeting, with further tariffs being imposed. Heightened trade tension is clearly set to stay despite resumption of trade talks and this will continue to cast a dark cloud over global economy" analysts at Mizuho said in a note.

In a thin trading session, Indonesian benchmark slipped 0.6%, dented by a near 2% fall in PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk's stock.

The country's biggest telecom services provider hit its lowest in over one month, as it faces hurdles by launch of Stroomnet, a new broadband service by a state-run electricity corporation, said  Anugerah Zamzami Nasr, an equity research analyst at Phillip Sekuritas Indonesia.

"Furthermore, recent interest from CK Hutchison to acquire XL Axiata could be viewed as a slight challenge to Telekom's market share and pricing power", he added.

Philippine stocks dropped 0.3%, with heavyweights such as SM Investment Corp and fast-food retailer Jollibee Foods Corp losing 1.1% and 1.7%, respectively.

Singapore's main index snapped a three-day gaining streak to end 0.3% lower, with industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings losing the most on the benchmark.

Jardine Matheson's stock fell 4% on Thursday after adding about 8.3% in the past three days.

Malaysian shares dipped slightly after the country's central bank stood pat on its key interest rate, in line with a Reuters consensus.

Bank Negara Malaysia expects the export-reliant nation's economy to hold its ground on the back of resilient domestic activity, but has flagged concerns arising from the Sino-US trade war.

Bucking the regional trend, Vietnam shares gained 0.7%.

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3194.96   3204.52         -0.30
Bangkok                1660.68   1674.03         -0.80
Manila                 7944.43   7967.90         -0.29
Jakarta                6342.174  6381.954        -0.62
Kuala Lumpur           1601      1602.3          -0.08
Ho Chi Minh            976.07    969.31          0.70

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3194.96   3068.76         4.11
Bangkok                1660.68   1563.88         6.19
Manila                 7944.43   7,466.02        6.41
Jakarta                6342.174  6,194.50        2.38
Kuala Lumpur           1601      1690.58         -5.30
Ho Chi Minh            976.07    892.54          9.36