September 17, 2019 / 4:38 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tepid as Saudi attacks weigh; Philippines leads declines

    * Philippines posts worst session in 2 weeks, oil prices
weigh
    * Singapore index down after data shows exports contract in
Aug
    * Most in wait-and-watch mode ahead of Fed meeting

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Sept 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets were
subdued on Tuesday, with the Philippine index posting sharp
losses as soaring crude prices following attacks on Saudi
Arabian facilities put pressure on the importer-nation.     
    The attacks have halved the kingdom's oil output, creating
the biggest disruption to global oil supplies in decades,
denting investor sentiment in oil-importing nations of the
Philippines and Indonesia.
    Elsewhere, investors broadly remained on the sidelines ahead
of an expected interest rate cut from the U.S. Federal Reserve
on Wednesday and the next round of U.S.-China trade talks on
Thursday.
    Leading losses in the region, the Philippine stocks
logged their worst session in two weeks, with heavyweights
Aboitiz Power and Ayala Land slipping as much
as 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively.
    Conglomerate SM Investments Corp, the biggest stock
in the index, shed nearly 1.5%.
    After a bout of last-minute buying, which pushed the
Philippine index higher just before session's close on Monday,
stocks are now tracking regional peers lower, said Charles
William Ang, associate analyst, COL Financial Group.
    "Given that the country is primarily an oil importer, higher
oil prices were also weighing on the benchmark," he said.
    "The question now is, how long will the prices stay high or
when will the supply normalise? Some say a few weeks, others say
few months. If the market believes that oil prices will continue
to spike, then a correction in the market is certainly a
distinct possibility," Ang added.
    Singapore stocks extended losses after data showed
that the country's exports shrank for a sixth straight month in
August, while domestic exports of electronics slipped 25.9% from
last year.
    While the figures were slightly better than what a Reuters
poll had expected, the data failed to lift sentiment.
    Indonesian stocks rebounded to trade a tick higher
after a nearly 2% drop in the previous session. Communication
stocks helped most, with Telekomunikasi Indonesia
adding nearly 1% to the index. 
    Cigarette makers Gudang Garam and Hanjaya Mandala
Sampoerna managed to claw back ground from sharp
losses in the previous session after the government announced a
steep price hike to minimum price of cigarettes. 
    Vietnam stocks inched marginally higher, while the
energy-heavy Thai index rose on the back of gains in oil
and gas companies. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0337 GMT
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3188.34   3203.93         -0.49
 Bangkok                1668.15   1662.93          0.31
 Manila                 7924.73   7996.9          -0.90
 Jakarta                6226.988  6219.435         0.12
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.77   1601.25          0.03
 Ho Chi Minh            991.64    989.86           0.18
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3188.34   3068.76         3.90
 Bangkok                1668.15   1563.88         6.67
 Manila                 7924.73   7,466.02        6.14
 Jakarta                6226.988  6,194.50        0.52
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.77   1690.58         -5.25
 Ho Chi Minh            991.64    892.54          11.10
 
 (Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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