September 25, 2019 / 4:13 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Falter on Trump's impeachment inquiry, trade tensions

    * Push for Trump impeachment increases political risk
    * Philippine stocks at four-week low
    * Thai stocks down ahead of cenbank policy decision

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 25 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on
Wednesday as investors offloaded risky assets after the launch
of a formal impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald
Trump raised prospects of more political uncertainty in the
world's largest economy.
    Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday
launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald
Trump, accusing him of seeking foreign help to smear Democratic
rival Joe Biden ahead of next year's election. 
    Meanwhile, Trump's scathing remarks at the United Nations
Assembly accusing China of currency manipulation and
intellectual property theft also risked riling a tariff dispute
that has embroiled global equities over the past year.  

    "If an impeachment enquiry looks like ending his (Donald
Trump's) re-election chances in 2020, he may throw caution to
the wind and harden his attitude to a China trade deal,
increasing the chances of a global recession next year," said
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA.
    Leading losses, the Philippine bourse plummeted 1.2%
to a four-week trough on the back of financial and consumer
sectors. Heavyweight SM Prime Holdings fell 1.2%,
while food processing firm Universal Robina Corp
dropped 4.9% to its lowest in more than a month.
    Singapore stocks, counted among the most sensitive to
global trade tensions, marked their worst session in three
weeks.
    Industrial and financials dominated losses in the benchmark,
with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd
slumping 1.8% and lender DBS Holdings Ltd falling
1.2%.
    Malaysian shares were set for a third session of
declines, while data on Wednesday showed that consumer price
index had risen 1.5% in August from a year earlier, in line with
Reuters' outlook.  
    Analysts, however, expect slowing economic growth to keep
price pressures in check. 
    Palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, which
shed 2%, was the top drag in the index.     
    Thai stocks were trading lower ahead of a policy
decision by the central bank, which is expected to hold rates
steady.
    
For Asian Companies click:  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0400 GMT
    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3134.56   3155.46         -0.66
 Bangkok                1628.42   1630.5          -0.13
 Manila                 7798.55   7893.94         -1.21
 Jakarta                6121.535  6137.608        -0.26
 Kuala Lumpur           1587.25   1592.33         -0.32
 Ho Chi Minh            984.88    988.13          -0.33
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3134.56   3068.76         2.14
 Bangkok                1628.42   1563.88         4.13
 Manila                 7798.55   7,466.02        4.45
 Jakarta                6121.535  6,194.50        -1.18
 Kuala Lumpur           1587.25   1690.58         -6.11
 Ho Chi Minh            984.88    892.54          10.35
 


 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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