December 20, 2019 / 5:06 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets muted in pre-holiday trade, Philippines falls over 2%

    * Philippine index hits lowest since Jan. 2
    * Indonesia extends losses for second straight day
    * Malaysia's Nov. CPI rises 0.9% year-on-year

    By Shruti Sonal
    Dec 20 (Reuters) - The Philippine stock market slipped to
its lowest in nearly a year in thin trading on Friday, while its
peers in Southeast Asia held steady as investors waited for
clarity in the Sino-U.S. trade deal. 
    Philippine shares fell more than 2% to hit their
lowest level since Jan. 2, hurt by losses in financials and
industrials stocks.
    Lenders in the country have come under pressure following
local media reports that the central bank was probing about 10
banks for their ties with Australia's scandal-hit Westpac
Banking Corp.
    Another reason for the selloff, according to Richard Laneda,
a senior research manager at COL Financial Group, was markets
trying to align with the FTSE index rebalancing due later in
day. The FTSE Philippines Index was down over 3%.7
    BDO Unibank Inc extended losses for the third
straight session, while Security Bank Corp fell about
4%.
    "I think the outflow, combined with the lack of buying near
the end of the year, has resulted in a big decline in big index
names," Laneda said.
    Meanwhile, the documentation work for the phase-1 trade deal
is going through "a technical, legal scrub" and would be ready
signing in early January, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve
Mnuchin, said on Thursday.
    China on the other hand has announced a list of import
tariff exemptions for six oil and chemical products from the
United States.
    "Investors are avoiding making big bets ahead of the holiday
season as sentiment has been mixed and amid the progress of U.S.
President Donald Trump's impeachment and simultaneous positive
developments on the interim trade deal", said Nicholas Yon,
equity research analyst at Lim & Tan Securities.
    Malaysian equities extended losses, dragged down by
industrials and financials. Hong Leong Bank Bhd was
down 2% and Malayan Banking Bhd 1.3%.
    The country's November consumer price index rose by a
less-than-expected 0.9% because of a fall in prices for clothing
and footwear and lower transport costs, government data showed
on Friday.
    Trade-sensitive Singapore shares eked out marginal
gains, while Thai and Indonesian stocks dropped.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS at 0504 GMT
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3209.97   3207.42         0.08
 Bangkok                1571.91   1573.51         -0.10
 Manila                 7483.24   7653.94         -2.23
 Jakarta                6237.478  6249.93         -0.20
 Kuala Lumpur           1592.61   1595.72         -0.19
 Ho Chi Minh            955.22    952.26          0.31
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3209.97   3068.76         4.60
 Bangkok                1571.91   1563.88         0.51
 Manila                 7483.24   7,466.02        0.23
 Jakarta                6237.478  6,194.50        0.69
 Kuala Lumpur           1592.61   1690.58         -5.80
 Ho Chi Minh            955.22    892.54          7.02
 
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
  
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