September 25, 2018 / 9:55 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as trade woes hurt risk appetite

    * Philippines top loser with 1.4 pct drop 
    * Singapore gains on 'window dressing'

    By Devika Syamnath
    Sept 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
closed lower on Tuesday as an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade
dispute hurt risk appetite, while a weak peso piled on the
Philippines' woes. 
    Broader Asia also struggled after China and the United
States imposed new tariffs on each other's goods on Monday, with
neither side looking to back down and adding to worries about
risks to global growth.
    "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 with 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.
    Philippine shares fell 1.4 percent, making them the
top losers in the region, weighed down by real estate and
financial stocks.
    "Weakness of the peso and expectations of higher inflation
for the month of September are two factors that dragged market
sentiment," Cruz said.
    The peso extended its retreat into a fourth session,
hitting a near 13-year low, ahead of an expected rate hike at
the central bank's meeting on Thursday.
    Property owner SM Investments and Bank of the
Philippine Islands were the biggest burdens on the
index, shedding 2.7 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. 
    Indonesian shares slipped, hurt by consumer staples
and material stocks. Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT was the
top drag with a loss of 2.3 percent.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
declined 0.2 percent.
    Malaysian shares fell 0.3 percent with telco Axiata
Group Bhd shedding 4.4 percent, while Vietnam stocks
 edged lower, hurt mostly by banks.
    Singapore shares closed 0.5 percent higher, extending
gains into a fifth session, with Cruz attributing it to "window
dressing" before the third quarter's close - a practice where
portfolio managers try to improve the appearance of a fund's
performance near the year- or quarter-end.
    Financials accounted for most of the rise, with top lender
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp closing 0.8 percent
higher.    
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
 Change on day                             
 Market          Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3236.08   3219.16         0.53
 Bangkok         1747.99   1749.42         -0.08
 Manila          7332.17   7433.61         -1.36
 Jakarta         5874.299  5882.22         -0.13
 Kuala Lumpur    1794.47   1800.17         -0.32
 Ho Chi Minh     1010.74   1011.29         -0.05
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3236.08   3402.92         -4.90
 Bangkok         1747.99   1753.71         -0.33
 Manila          7332.17   8558.42         -14.33
 Jakarta         5874.299  6355.654        -7.57
 Kuala Lumpur    1794.47   1796.81         -0.13
 Ho Chi Minh     1010.74   984.24          2.69
 

 (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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