September 25, 2018 / 4:35 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall; Singapore rises on "window dressing"

    * Trade war concerns hurt most SE Asian stocks
    * Weak peso hurts Philippine stocks
    * Thai production data misses, stocks retreat

    By Devika Syamnath
    Sept 25 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks fell on Tuesday
on the peso's continued slide coupled with renewed trade war
concerns, while Singapore extended gains for a fifth session
thanks to "window dressing" attempts by portfolio managers ahead
of the third quarter close.
    Broader Asian stocks struggled as the latest round of
U.S.-China tariffs revived fears the trade dispute would knock
global growth, with neither side looking to be in a mood to
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 edged down 0.3 percent.
    "The failure of China and the U.S. to come to terms on the
negotiation table ... is creating weakness in major economies in
Asia, and has resulted in most Southeast Asian equities to
retreat from what they gained last week," said Manny Cruz, a
Manila-based analyst at Asiasec Equities Inc.
    Earlier this month, Chinese officials welcomed an invitation
from Washington for a new round of trade talks but then scrapped
plans for diplomatic discussions on Friday.
    "Given these developments, it is increasingly likely that
both sides will not resume negotiations for some time, at least
until there is a noticeable shift in the political mood on
either side," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    Philippines stocks fell the most in the region, down
about 0.7 percent after two days of gains, with financials and
real-estate stocks weighing on the index.
    Top drags Bank of the Philippine Islands and
property developer SM Prime Holdings declined 3.3
percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
    "Weakness on the peso and the expectations of higher
inflation for the month of September are two factors that
dragged market sentiment," analyst Cruz said.
    The peso extended its fall to a fourth day and
touched a near 13-year low on Tuesday, ahead of an expected rate
hike at the Philippine central bank's meeting on Thursday.
    Financials stocks pushed Indonesia's index down as
much as 0.5 percent, with biggest weight Bank Mandiri (Persero)
 down as much as 3.3 percent.
    Malaysian shares also lost up to 0.2 percent, with
telecom sector accounting for over half of the fall. 
    Cruz attributed Singapore stocks' rise against the tide to
"window dressing" ahead of the third quarter's close, referring
to the practice where portfolio managers try to improve the
appearance of a fund's performance near the year or quarter end.
    The city-state's index extended gains to a fifth straight
session, having added up to 0.5 percent to its best level since
August 30, helped mostly by financials and industrial stocks.
    Top lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and Keppel
Corp rose 1.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
    Thai shares erased early gains to trade unchanged
after data showed manufacturing production index (MPI) in August
rose 0.66 percent but missed analysts' forecast.
    Falling energy stocks checked gains in consumer staples with
Kasikornbank PCL, down 0.9 percent, the top drag and
countered top boost convenience store operator CP All PCL
, up as much as 1.8 percent.    
    Thailand hopes to benefit from a growing number of Asian
manufacturers of products moving to shift production from China
to other factories in the region in the wake of U.S. President
Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports, a Reuters report said
on Monday.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on day                             
 Market          Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3231.89   3219.16         0.40
 Bangkok         1748.92   1749.42         -0.03
 Manila          7374.65   7433.61         -0.79
 Jakarta         5856.995  5882.22         -0.43
 Kuala Lumpur    1797.59   1800.17         -0.14
 Ho Chi Minh     1013.91   1011.29         0.26
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3231.89   3402.92         -5.03
 Bangkok         1748.92   1753.71         -0.27
 Manila          7374.65   8558.42         -13.83
 Jakarta         5856.995  6355.654        -7.85
 Kuala Lumpur    1797.59   1796.81         0.04
 Ho Chi Minh     1013.91   984.24          3.01
 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru, Additional
reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar
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