December 21, 2018 / 10:00 AM / 6 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on economic woes; Malaysia rises on window dressing

    * Philippine snaps five-straight weeks of gains
    * Vietnam posts 7-day losing streak, 2nd weekly loss
    * Malaysia top gainer, ends at over 1-week closing high
    * Singapore records third straight losing week

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Dec 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets pared
some losses but ended lower on Friday with Philippines losing
most, but Malaysia bounced back as fund managers rushed to prop
up their portfolio towards year end.
    Earlier in the session, all regions slipped as a cocktail of
negative leads ranging from the prospect of a U.S. government
shutdown to U.S. chastising China for economic espionage weighed
on sentiment.
    Despite a marginal recovery, the sentiment remained subdued
with most regions ending lower on economic worries, while
Malaysia and Indonesia reversed course to notch gains.
    Malaysia's benchmark reversed course to end at a
more than 1-week high. It was the sole country in the region
which notched a weekly gain, ending higher by about 0.5 percent.
    Shares of electric utilities provider Tenaga Nasional Berhad
 jumped 5.2 percent and those of palm oil producer Sime
Darby Plantation Berhad tacked on nearly 10 percent. 
    The gain on the index was likely due to a technical rebound
following recent price weakness and also year-end "window
dressing activities," said Syed Muhammed Kifni, chief strategist
at MIDF.
    Window dressing is a strategy used by portfolio managers
near the year or quarter end to improve appearance of a fund's
performance before presenting it to clients, purchasing
high-flying stocks and selling losing ones.
    He also noted that the benchmark had similarly jumped about
50 points during the last six trading days in 2017.
    Indonesian's benchmark also rose at close but failed
to offset losses earlier in the week, notching a weekly loss
that snapped three straight weeks of gains.
    Earlier in the day, the national carrier Garuda's
Chief Executive Officer said it expects to end 2018 in profit
and is targeting a net profit of 1 trillion rupiah ($69.03
million) for 2019, sending shares up 0.9 percent at close.

    On the other hand, Philippine's index fell most,
losing 0.6 percent during the week to snap five consecutive
weeks of gains.
    Losses were largely underpinned by real-estate stocks, with
property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc dropping 2.5
percent while Ayala Land Inc shed 1.8 percent.
    Vietnam's index posted its seventh straight session
of loss, and second consecutive weekly loss. The index also
recorded a weekly loss of 4.2 percent, its worst performance
since the week ending Oct 26.
    Real-estate stocks were main laggards, with Vinhomes JSC's
 counter shedding 4.5 percent and that of Vincom Retail
JSC off 2.7 percent.
    Singapore's index edged lower to post its third
consecutive weekly loss.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3046.04   3050.62         -0.15
 Bangkok            1595.33   1596.1          -0.05
 Manila             7479.71   7563.41         -1.11
 Jakarta            6163.596  6147.876        0.26
 Kuala Lumpur       1670.28   1650.56         1.19
 Ho Chi Minh        912.26    918.24          -0.65
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore          3046.04   3402.92         -10.49
 Bangkok            1595.33   1753.71         -9.03
 Manila             7479.71   8,558.42        -12.60
 Jakarta            6163.596  6,355.65        -3.02
 Kuala Lumpur       1670.28   1796.81         -7.04
 Ho Chi Minh        912.26    984.24          -7.31

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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