January 3, 2019 / 10:05 AM / 19 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines top gainer; Vietnam sinks on Apple woes

    * Vietnam closes at over 1-yr low, Apple's forecast cut
weighs
    * Philippines climbs, Dec inflation expected at 6-month low

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Jan 3 (Reuters) - Philippine shares rallied on Thursday on
expectations of positive inflation data, while stocks in
technology export reliant Vietnam sank to an over 1-year low
after iPhone maker Apple Inc cut its sales forecast.
    Apple's move to cut its quarterly sales forecast blaming
slowing iPhone sales in China sent U.S. stock futures and Asian
shares tumbling, with MSCI's broadest gauge of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan falling 0.6 percent.
 
    Vietnam's index was the top loser in the region,
plunging 1.5 percent to an over one year closing low.
    "Vietnam is tightly caught up in the tech story. We are
becoming a very large tech hub for a lot of the outflow from
tech companies based in China," said Fiachra Mac Cana, head of
research at Ho Chi Minh Securities.
    Vietnam is the largest smartphone production base for South
Korean mobile phone giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
, while the country's largest earner from exports are
smartphones.
    "For us, it's like if demand for iPhones are weak, will
demand for Samsung phones also be weak then? Yes, very easily.
All of that makes the Vietnamese market a complete risk off
environment right now," he added. 
    Singapore's benchmark index also tumbled, with
electronic equipment maker Venture Corp Ltd among top
percentage losers, shedding 1.8 percent.
    Thailand's energy-heavy index see-sawed throughout
the session to end lower, with energy stocks slumping in tandem
with falling oil prices amid worries over lower fuel demand in
2019 and surging crude supplies.
    However, defying the broader Asian downturn was Philippine's
index, which soared 2.6 percent to close at a near
one-month high, ahead of inflation data due on Friday.
    A Reuters poll shows that the country's inflation is
expected to cool to a six-month low in December.
    "Investors were mainly concerned about inflation during
2018... so now we're seeing some buying in the index stocks as
there's better expectation on earnings growth," said Rachelle C
Cruz, an analyst at AP Securities.
    Benchmark heavyweight SM Investments Corp's stock
rose 4.6 percent, while that of conglomerate Aboitiz Equity
Ventures Inc added 6.2 percent.
    Malaysia's index also rose, with shares of palm oil
producer Sime Darby Plantation Bhd rising 3.5 percent
and those of lender Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd
firming 3.2 percent.
    Indonesia's benchmark edged up with household
products maker Unilever Indonesia Tbk's counter
notching a 2.4 percent gain, while animal feed producer Charoen
Pokphand Indonesia Tbk rose 4 percent.
    


    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3012.88  3038.89         -0.86
 Bangkok                1560.03  1565.94         -0.38
 Manila                 7680.6   7489.2          2.56
 Jakarta                6221.01  6181.175        0.64
 Kuala Lumpur           1675.83  1668.11         0.46
 Ho Chi Minh            878.22   891.75          -1.52
                                                 
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3012.88  3068.76         -1.82
 Bangkok                1560.03  1563.88         -0.25
 Manila                 7680.6   7,466.02        2.87
 Jakarta                6221.01  6,194.50        0.43
 Kuala Lumpur           1675.83  1690.58         -0.87
 Ho Chi Minh            878.22   892.54          -1.60
 


 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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