SE Asian stocks track global selloff on recession fears; Philippines sinks

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(Aug 15): Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday, tracking sharp losses in global equities, after an inversion in the US bond yield curve on Wednesday raised fears of an impending recession.

The yield on the US Treasury 10-year note temporarily fell below the two-year yield for the first time since 2007, in the latest signal that the global economy faces severe risks. The inversion has correctly predicted every recession barring one in the last 50 years.

"The risk of the US slipping into recession becomes more prominent with latest Treasury yield curve inversion," ING said in a note. It follows data from China on Wednesday that showed its economy was faltering, with industrial output growth slowing to a 17-year low.

With the world's two largest economies showing signs of slowing growth, and global central banks turning increasingly dovish, most investors seem to be risk-averse.

Philippine stocks dropped the most in the region, with losses centered around the financial sector. The index was down about 2%, easing a good percent from early trade.

Property developer SM Prime Holdings and lender BDO Unibank were down 3.7% each.

Singapore followed closely behind, down 1.2%, with heavyweight financial stocks tugging.

Lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank fell 3.8% and 3.4%, respectively.

In Thailand, stocks were hurt by the telecom sector, with Advanced Info Services losing 3.1%.

Meanwhile, banking stocks weighed on the Malaysian index, with heavyweights Public Bank BHD and Hong Leong Bank BHD losing 0.7% and 2% respectively.

Indonesian shares also fell ahead trade data that is expected to show the country return to a deficit amid global trade weakness, according to a Reuters poll.   

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3100.82   3147.6          -1.49
Bangkok                1592.05   1619.45         -1.69
Manila                 7703.57   7858.65         -1.97
Jakarta                6205.924  6267.335        -0.98
Kuala Lumpur           1588.07   1600.31         -0.76
Ho Chi Minh            967.34    968.91          -0.16

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3100.82   3068.76         1.04
Bangkok                1592.05   1563.88         1.80
Manila                 7703.57   7,466.02        3.18
Jakarta                6205.924  6,194.50        0.18
Kuala Lumpur           1588.07   1690.58         -6.06
Ho Chi Minh            967.34    892.54          8.38