May 4, 2020 / 4:26 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Slump on U.S.-China tensions over coronavirus

    * Philippines top loser; manufacturing activity contracts -
    * Singapore posts biggest intraday drop since March 30
    * Thailand closed for national holiday

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell sharply
on Monday as risk sentiment turned sour after U.S. officials
tried to pin blame for the coronavirus pandemic on China,
stoking worries of fresh tensions between the world's top two
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was
"a significant amount of evidence" that the new coronavirus
emerged from a Chinese laboratory, doubling down on Washington's
pressure on China over the virus' origin as U.S. deaths and
economic damage mount.
    The accusation came after Donald Trump's threat late last
week of retaliatory measures against China as punishment for the
outbreak, once again sparking tariff fears that rattled markets
through much of the last two years.
    "Trade war clouds once again loom ominously on the horizon
as the hawks in the U.S. administration are poking the trade war
hornet's nest, while putting China in the crosshairs accusing
the Wuhan lab as the epicentre of COVID-19," Stephen Innes,
chief market strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note.
    "Rekindling a dormant U.S.-China trade war will likely make
any economic improvement exponentially more difficult."
    In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares slumped as much
as 3.5% in their biggest intraday fall since April 16, after a
survey showed manufacturing activity contracted in April.

    Property developer SM Investments Corp declined up
to 5.8%, while food and beverage company Universal Robina Corp
 fell 3.5%.
    Singapore shares tumbled as much as 3.3%, their
sharpest intraday drop since March 30.
    Industrial conglomerate Sembcorp Industries
dropped nearly 5%, while Singapore Telecommunications
slid more than 4%.
    Malaysian shares shed as much as 2.3%, their worst
in six weeks, ahead of March trade data.
    Telecommunications conglomerate Axiata Group fell
4.8%, while lost more than 3%.
    Meanwhile, the Thai stock market was closed for a
national holiday.    
For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on the day                                  
  Market              Current     Previous   Pct Move
  Singapore           2560.81     2624.23    -2.42
  Manila              5532.59     5700.71    -2.95
  Jakarta             4611.709    4716.403   -2.22
  Kuala Lumpur        1379.06     1407.78    -2.04
 Ho Chi Minh          767.74      769.11     -0.18
  Change so far in                           
  Market              Current     End 2019   Pct Move
  Singapore           2560.81     3222.83    -20.54
  Bangkok             1301.66     1579.84    -17.61
  Manila              5532.59     7,815.26   -29.21
  Jakarta             4611.709    6,299.54   -26.79
  Kuala Lumpur        1379.06     1588.76    -13.20
  Ho Chi Minh         767.74      960.99     -20.11

 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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