August 29, 2019 / 4:46 AM / 22 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most trade flat to lower; global outlook stokes risk-off mode

    * Energy sector lifts Thai index
    * Philippines falls ahead of Duterte's talks with China 
    * Singapore index touches a nearly 8-month low

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded
flat to lower on Thursday as the Sino-U.S. friction and a gloomy
global outlook stirred a risk-off sentiment, with Philippine
leading declines.
    Bond markets around the world painted a gloomier picture,
with yields on 30-year U.S. Treasuries and 10-year German bunds
yield both hitting record lows on Wednesday.
    Inversion remains a prominent feature across the U.S. yield
curve, where long-dated yields are below short-dated ones, an
unsettling sign as yield curve inversions have been a reliable
leading indicator of future U.S. recessions.
    Hitting market sentiment further, Washington made its extra
5% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports official on
Wednesday and set collection dates of Sept. 1 and Dec. 15,
prompting hundreds of U.S. retail, footwear, toy and technology
companies to warn of price hikes.
    The lack of further developments in the Sino-U.S. trade
dispute was also restricting movement in Southeast Asian stock
markets, said Richard Laneda, research analyst, COL Financial.
    The Philippine index retreated from previous
session's rally to lead losses in the region, ahead of President
Rodrigo Duterte's talks with China this week. 
    The trip comes amid a recent rise in tension on multiple
fronts, with Chinese vessels challenging energy assets and sea
boundaries of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, prompting
warnings and rebukes by the United States.
    Telecom and real estate stocks dragged Singapore's benchmark
index to its lowest since Jan. 4. Singapore
Telecommunications dropped 1%, while real estate
developer Hongkong Land Holdings lost 0.6%.
    A downturn in the U.S. stock futures hurt the city-state's
markets, while near-term challenges faced by index heavyweight
Singapore Telecommunications in its overseas investments also
weighed, said Nicholas Yon, research analyst, Lim & Tan
Securities.
    Bucking the sombre mood, Thai stocks advanced,
helped by gains in the energy sector as oil prices surged
overnight. Oil and gas explorers PTT PCL  and PTT
Exploration and Production rose 1.8% and 0.6%
respectively. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3057.86   3056.47          0.05
 Bangkok                1624.23   1616.93          0.45
 Manila                 7819.8    7847.5          -0.35
 Jakarta                6288.458  6281.646         0.11
 Kuala Lumpur           1587.53   1589.82         -0.14
 Ho Chi Minh            974.37    977.26          -0.30
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3057.86   3068.76         -0.36
 Bangkok                1624.23   1563.88         3.86
 Manila                 7819.8    7,466.02        4.74
 Jakarta                6288.458  6,194.50        1.52
 Kuala Lumpur           1587.53   1690.58         -6.10
 Ho Chi Minh            974.37    892.54          9.17
                                                  
 

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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