February 5, 2018 / 4:54 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Plunge; most mark steepest drop in over a year

    * Asian shares ex-Japan post worst fall since late 2016
    * Philippines down 2.9 pct, biggest fall since Nov 2016
    * Vietnam down 3.2 pct, biggest drop since June 2016
    * Singapore marks biggest decline since Jan 2017

    By Nikhil Nainan
    Feb 5 (Reuters) - Shares across Southeast Asia tumbled on
Monday, as investors were unnerved by a spike in U.S. bond
yields over the possibility of more aggressive policy tightening
by the Federal Reserve.
    Asian shares fell the most in over a year as fears of
resurgent inflation battered bonds and toppled Wall Street on
Friday from all-time highs, with three major U.S. indexes
logging their biggest weekly losses in two years.

    "There is a cautious mood currently because of the sudden
surge in yields, so I think markets are trying to adapt to this
changing environment of changing yields and expectations of
higher inflation going forward," said Joel Ng, as research
analyst at KGI Securities in Singapore.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 slid as much as 2 percent in its biggest
intraday drop since November 2016.
    U.S. job growth surged in January and wages increased
further, recording their largest annual gain in more than 8-1/2
years, bolstering expectations that inflation will push higher
this year and the Fed might hasten to increase interest rates to
stem inflation.
    This compounded a bond market rout that pushed the yield on
the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to a four-year high on
    Philippine shares fell as much as 2.9 percent, giving
up robust gains in January, and marking their biggest intraday
percentage drop since November 2016.
    Index heavyweights SM Investment and SM Prime
Holdings fell as much as 4.6 percent and 4.5 percent,
respectively, pulling the Philippine index down to its lowest in
five weeks.
    Singapore shares fell as much as 1.7 percent, led by
losses in financials, and posted their biggest intraday
percentage drop since January 2017.
    Top lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and
United Overseas Bank fell to their lowest in about a
month, while DBS Group Holdings dropped 2.6 percent to
an over two-week low. 
    Although higher interest rates tend to bode well for
lenders, a sudden or much faster rise in yields will cause some
problems in the equity markets, KGI analyst Ng said.
    Indonesian shares fell as much as 1.6 percent, but
recovered some of the losses to trade 0.3 percent lower.
    Indonesia's economy grew at its fastest pace in four years
in October-December, the statistics bureau said on Monday. 

    Consumer stocks weighed on the index, with Astra
International Tbk PT falling 2.9 percent and Unilever
Indonesia Tbk PT dropping 2 percent.
    Thai shares fell 1.5 percent, while Malaysian shares
 retreated 1.7 percent, with both markets posting their
worst intraday percentage drop since November 2016.
    Vietnam shares fell as much as 3.2 percent, marking
their steepest intraday drop since June 2016.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change as at 0447 GMT                            
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3481.44   3529.82         -1.37
 Bangkok                1810.11   1827.35         -0.94
 Manila                 8565.83   8810.75         -2.78
 Jakarta                6605.032  6628.82         -0.36
 Kuala Lumpur           1853.38   1870.48         -0.91
 Ho Chi Minh            1072.34   1105.04         -2.96
 Change on year                                   
 Market                 Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore              3481.44   3402.92         2.31
 Bangkok                1810.11   1753.71         3.22
 Manila                 8565.83   8558.42         0.09
 Jakarta                6605.032  6355.654        3.92
 Kuala Lumpur           1853.38   1796.81         3.15
 Ho Chi Minh            1072.34   984.24          8.95

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Amrutha
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