March 14, 2018 / 4:30 AM / 9 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tillerson exit, possible tariffs weigh; Philippines drops most

    * Tillerson's departure adds to protectionism fears
    * Trump seeks to impose tariffs against China - reports
    * Vietnam only gainer in S.E. Asia region

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
slipped on Wednesday as the sacking of U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson and increased fears of a global trade war rattled
    Tillerson was seen as a moderate influence in U.S. President
Donald Trump's administration and his departure is seen as a
sign of potential worsening of tariffs. Adding to the worries,
reports said Trump is seeking to impose hefty tariffs on Chinese
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7 percent,
the S&P 500 lost 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite
 dropped 1.02 percent on Tuesday.
    "The movement in regional markets is focused on the shakeup
in the Trump administration ... the second concern is the trade
wars after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and
aluminium," said Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at AB
    "This would pose some concern in terms of the global economy
in a broader sense."
    Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stumbled
0.7 percent, retreating from a 1-1/2 month high the index hit on
    Among Southeast Asian markets, Philippine shares were
the worst hit, with all sectors contributing to a 1.4 percent
drop in the main index. SM Investments Corp fell as much
as 2.3 percent.
    Malaysia dropped 0.4 percent, largely due to losses
in industrial and telecom stocks. Energy shipping solutions
provider MISC Bhd fell as much as 3.4 percent.
    Singapore shares lost 0.6 percent, hurt by
broad-based losses. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd
was 0.8 percent lower.
    The Indonesian benchmark was 0.5 percent lower,
weighed by consumer discretionary and telecom stocks.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia weighed the most on the
index, dropping 1 percent.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
fell 0.7 percent.
    "The story we see right now is a shift from emerging markets
back to the U.S., given the improved U.S. economy. That is a
gist of what is happening right now in equity markets," said AB
Capital's Azurin.
    Thai shares were also lower as energy and financial
sectors draged on the index. PTT PCL fell as much as
1.1 percent, making it the biggest drag on the index.
    Vietnam was the outlier, with the benchmark rising
0.4 percent as financial and real estate stocks traded higher.
Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam
 was up 2.4 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market            Current    Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore         3533.57    3553.73         -0.57
  Bangkok           1808.14    1809.9          -0.10
  Manila            8305.03    8419.57         -1.36
  Jakarta           6381.019   6412.846        -0.50
  Kuala Lumpur      1856.65    1864.03         -0.40
 Ho Chi Minh        1137.87    1133.31         0.40
  Change on year                               
  Market            Current    End 2017        Pct Move
  Singapore         3533.57    3402.92         3.84
  Bangkok           1808.14    1753.71         3.10
  Manila            8305.03    8558.42         -2.96
  Jakarta           6381.019   6355.654        0.40
  Kuala Lumpur      1856.65    1796.81         3.33
  Ho Chi Minh       1137.87    984.24          15.61
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb
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