January 2, 2019 / 4:13 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Malaysia bruised by gloomy Chinese data

    * Most lose early gains after weak Chinese factory data 
    * Real estate stocks boost Philippines, Vietnam

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Jan 2 (Reuters) - Singaporean and Malaysian shares sank on
Wednesday after disappointing economic data from China, while a
rally in real estate stocks drove Philippine and Vietnamese
equities higher.
    Other Asian markets also fell after a private survey showed
that China's factory activity had contracted for the first time
in 19 months in December as domestic and export orders continued
to weaken.
    The news is the latest in a slew of worrying economic data
from Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner, reinforcing fears
that China's economy is losing more steam amid a bitter trade
war with the United States.
    Singapore's benchmark index shed nearly 1 percent as
sentiment was further dampened by preliminary data which showed
that the city-state's economy grew 1.6 percent in the fourth
quarter from the third on an annualised basis, much slower than
expectations.
    Shares in industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings
Ltd were off 1.7 percent, while those in lender
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp dropped 1.6 percent.
    Malaysian equities also dropped sharply, with a 2.3
percent slide each in Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and
gas retailer Petronas Dagangan Bhd pulling the
benchmark down 0.86 percent.
    Meanwhile, Philippine stocks, which suffered the
steepest drop in the region during 2018, rose 0.19 percent,
paring gains from a 1 percent surge in early trade.
    Philippine heavyweight Ayala Land Inc gained 0.7
percent after losing about 4 percent over the two final weeks of
2018.
    "Ayala Land fell a lot last week, so it could be
bargain-hunting along with the improved sentiment after
President Trump said that talks with China are progressing,"
said Fio Dejesus, an analyst at RCBC Securities in Manila.
    The Sino-U.S. trade spat has dominated headlines in Asian
markets and U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter message that
he had a "long and very good call" with his Chinese counterpart
about trade issues provided some respite to stocks last week.

    The real estate sector also powered gains in Vietnamese
shares, with Vingroup JSC rising 5.8 percent and
Vincom Retail JSC advancing 2.7 percent.
    Thai stocks also rose, with the energy and financial
sectors underpinning gains. PTT PCL rose 0.5 percent.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0321 GMT    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3038.87   3068.76         -0.97
 Bangkok                1568.96   1563.88         0.32
 Manila                 7479.98   7466.02         0.19
 Jakarta                6186.199  6194.498        -0.13
 Kuala Lumpur           1676.08   1690.58         -0.86
 Ho Chi Minh            896.9     892.54          0.49
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3038.87   3068.76         -0.97
 Bangkok                1568.96   1563.88         0.32
 Manila                 7479.98   7,466.02        0.19
 Jakarta                6186.199  6,194.50        -0.13
 Kuala Lumpur           1676.08   1690.58         -0.86
 Ho Chi Minh            896.9     892.54          0.49
 
 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin
Ravikumar)
  
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