September 27, 2019 / 4:03 AM / 19 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on U.S. political woes, trade worries

    * Trump whistle-blower report adds to political discord
    * Fall in China's Aug industrial profits also weighs
    * Singapore declines on technical recession risk

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 27 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged
lower on Friday, with Philippines leading the fall, as a slew of
political and trade-related concerns kept risk appetite in
check.
    A whistle-blower report released on Thursday said U.S.
President Donald Trump not only abused his office in an attempt
to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 U.S. election for
his benefit, but that the White House tried to "lock down"
evidence about the conduct.
    Developments on the trade war front were quite mixed, with
the United States not budging to extend a temporary waiver that
lets American companies work with Huawei. On the other hand,
Chinese officials played up Beijing's willingness to buy more
U.S. products.
    "The market isn't clear on what to make of the latest
impeachment developments in the U.S. ... it remains in limbo
trying to decide how the 'whistle-blower' impeachment push may
impact the White House's decisions on trade negotiations," said
Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.
    Also adding to market jitters was a decline in China's
August industrial profits after a brief gain in the previous
month, suggesting renewed pressure due to the trade war and
slowdown in domestic demand.
    Philippine shares declined 0.8% on weakness in
industrials and financials. International Container Terminal
Services Inc dipped 3.7% to a six-week low, while
lender BDO Unibank Inc fell 2.7%.
    Singapore stocks dropped 0.3% to a three-week trough
as risks of a technical recession loomed.
    UOB analysts said they see chances of a technical recession
in the third quarter after data released on Thursday showed a
steep contraction in August industrial production.
    They also downgraded the city-state's full-year
manufacturing output outlook after the dismal print. 
    Real estate stocks Mapletree Commercial Trust and
CapitaLand Mall Trust led losses.
    Indonesian shares shed also fell, with financials
accounting for most of the losses after sharp gains in the
previous session. Heavyweights Bank Central Asia Tbk PT
 and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT
slipped as much as 1% each.
    Malaysian shares ticked down on weakness in consumer
stocks. Palm oil producers Sime Darby Plantation Bhd 
and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd declined 2.3% and 0.4%,
respectively.
    Meanwhile, Vietnam shares rose 0.4%, helped by
financials.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0356 GMT
    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3115.79   3125.81         -0.32
 Bangkok                1633.24   1636.75         -0.21
 Manila                 7836.23   7896.48         -0.76
 Jakarta                6207.146  6230.334        -0.37
 Kuala Lumpur           1585.85   1593            -0.45
 Ho Chi Minh            995.44    990.75          0.47
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3115.79   3068.76         1.53
 Bangkok                1633.24   1563.88         4.44
 Manila                 7836.23   7,466.02        4.96
 Jakarta                6207.146  6,194.50        0.20
 Kuala Lumpur           1585.85   1690.58         -6.19
 Ho Chi Minh            995.44    892.54          11.53
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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