October 9, 2019 / 4:22 AM / 7 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most weaken as Sino-U.S. standoff broadens

    * Sino-U.S. trade talks set to start on Thursday
    * Philippine c.bank gov signals end of rate cuts for 2019
    * Singapore set to snap two sessions of gains

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Oct 9 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets dropped
on Wednesday, as tensions between the United States and China
heightened hours ahead of high-level negotiations, denting hopes
of a trade deal.
    Washington imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government
and Communist Party officials over abuses of Muslim minorities.
The move came only hours after the Trump administration widened
its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial
intelligence startups. 
    High-level talks between the world's top two economies on
trade are due to resume on Thursday. The negotiations, which are
the global markets' most important catalyst for months, have
weighed on investor sentiment.
    "The movement is definitely reactionary given that there is
little expectations of a deal now, and we will also have to look
out for a Chinese retaliation," said Joel Ng, an analyst with
KGI Securities.
    "I think more bad news is yet to come."
    Philippine stocks shed previous session's rally to
drop as much as 1% after the central bank said that last month's
rate cut could be the last of 2019.
    The biggest laggards in the index were real estate and
consumer sectors. Property developer SM Prime Holdings
was down 1.7%, while conglomerate SM Investments Corp
fell 1%.
    Singapore shares were on track to snap two sessions
of gains, dragged by industrial and financial sectors. 
    Lender DBS Group Holdings was trading 0.8% down,
while conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings lost
1.4%.
    Losses in the banking and healthcare sectors weighed on
Malaysian stocks, with Malayan Banking falling
0.6%, while hospital operator IHH Healthcare dropped
0.7%.   
    Bucking the sombre mood, Vietnam index traded
marginally higher. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0400 GMT
  STOCK MARKETS                                             
  Change on the day                                         
  Market             Current        Previous      Pct Move
                                    close         
  Singapore          3098.06        3110.85       -0.41
  Bangkok            1607.07        1612.17       -0.32
  Manila             7700.45        7756.72       -0.73
  Jakarta            6033.072       6039.601      -0.11
  Kuala Lumpur       1551.38        1558.79       -0.48
  Ho Chi Minh        989.87         988.22         0.17
                                                  
  Change so far in                                
 2019                                             
  Market             Current        End 2018      Pct Move
  Singapore          3098.06        3068.76       0.95
  Bangkok            1607.07        1563.88       2.76
  Manila             7700.45        7,466.02      3.14
  Jakarta            6033.072       6,194.50      -2.61
  Kuala Lumpur       1551.38        1690.58       -8.23
  Ho Chi Minh        989.87         892.54        10.90
 
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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