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Mensholong Lepcha

Australia shares race to 11-year high on rate cut expectations, NZ up

24 Apr 2019

* Aussie dollar drops 0.9 pct in the wake of CPI data (Updates milestones, price action, recasts, adds inflation data)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia falls on profit-taking, most others end flat

22 Apr 2019

* Oil prices hit 2019 high on Iranian crude exports ban * Indonesia interest rate decision due on Thursday * Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand end little changed By Mensholong Lepcha April 22 Indonesian shares fell more than 1 percent on Monday as investors booked profits following last week's election-driven rally, while most other regional markets ended little changed. The Jakarta index fell 1.4 percent and was the top decliner in the region as all sectors except energy ended in the red. The index tacked on 1.6 percent last week, its highest since late February, on expectations of incumbent leader Joko Widodo's return to power for a second five-year term. "This is a profit taking since we have seen the index increased pretty solidly last week. We believe this (fall) to be temporary because we are confident that foreign fund flow will continue to come in," said Hariyanto Wijaya, an analyst with Mirae Asset Sekuritas in Jakarta. Unilever Indonesia and Astra International were the top drags on the index, falling 2.3 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. An index of the country's 45 most-liquid stocks fell 1.7 percent. Investors now await Indonesia's central bank meeting due on Thursday. A Reuters poll showed the country's central bank keeping interest rates on hold, though some economists say a rate cut to bolster economic growth is coming. Elsewhere, Thai shares erased gains late in the session to end flat. Gains in energy stocks countered losses in healthcare and utilities as oil prices spiked on Monday after the United States looked set to announce that all buyers of Iranian oil must end their imports or be subject to sanctions. Oil and gas heavyweights PTT and PTT Exploration and Production rose 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. Singapore shares edged up 0.3 percent to close at its highest since June 2018. The Singapore market has outperformed its regional peers this year, gaining 9.4 percent so far in 2019. Keppel Corp rose 2.4 percent, while CapitaLand Mall Trust climbed 1.3 percent. Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam closed little changed. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0955 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3357.7 3347.58 0.30 Bangkok 1673.48 1674.1 -0.04 Manila 7832.43 7835.15 -0.03 Jakarta 6414.743 6507.221 -1.42 Kuala Lumpur 1622.06 1622.07 0.00 Ho Chi Minh 965.86 966.21 -0.04 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3357.7 3068.76 9.42 Bangkok 1673.48 1563.88 7.01 Manila 7832.43 7,466.02 4.91 Jakarta 6414.743 6,194.50 3.56 Kuala Lumpur 1622.06 1690.58 -4.05 Ho Chi Minh 965.86 892.54 8.21 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha, additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines climbs most, Indonesia sheds early gains

01 Feb 2019

* Philippine shares post fifth straight weekly gain * Thai Jan inflation below central bank's target range * Philippine, Thai cenbanks to review monetary policies next week By Mensholong Lepcha Feb 1 Philippine shares rose 1.7 percent on Friday, helped by foreign investor buying and as the latest round of Sino-U.S. trade talks kept hopes of a comprehensive trade deal alive, while Indonesian stocks shed earlier gains to close nearly flat. The latest round of Sino-U.S. trade talks ended on a positive note, with U.S. President Donald Trump saying he was optimistic that the two nations could reach "the biggest deal ever made." The benchmark Philippine stock index was the biggest gainer in the region, boosted by financials and industrials. BDO Unibank climbed 3.7 percent and SM Investment Corp added 2.5 percent. Philippine shares advanced 1.1 percent this week in their fifth consecutive weekly gain. "Foreign buying in the Philippines has been consistent over the last few weeks, and for today the biggest driver would be foreign inflows towards emerging markets," said Charles William Ang, an analyst with COL Financial Group. Foreign investors bought net 1.02 billion pesos ($19.54 million) worth shares on Friday and 5.75 billion pesos this week, according to Refinitiv data. Investors now await January inflation data and the central bank's monetary policy review due next week. Inflation had cooled more than expected in December, reinforcing views that the central bank is done raising interest rates. Thai shares rose 0.6 percent on Friday, after data showed January's headline inflation rate was below the central bank's target range of 1-4 percent for a third straight month. The central bank will review borrowing rates next week. The central bank governor had said in January that the country's accommodative monetary policy is still needed to support the economy. PTT gained 2 percent, while Airports of Thailand climbed 1.5 percent. Indonesian shares closed 0.1 percent higher after rising as much as 0.8 percent earlier, as losses in telecom stocks offset gains in financials. Indonesian shares gained 0.9 percent for the week, marking their sixth straight weekly rise. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) rose 1.8 percent to close at a record high, while Charoen Pokphand Indonesia jumped 4.4 percent. Indonesia's annual consumer inflation in January slowed more than expected, data from the statistics bureau showed. The Malaysian stock market was closed for a holiday. ($1 = 52.2100 Philippine pesos) For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3188.68 3190.17 -0.05 Bangkok 1651.4 1641.73 0.59 Manila 8144.16 8007.48 1.71 Jakarta 6538.638 6532.969 0.09 Ho Chi Minh 908.67 910.65 -0.22 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3188.68 3068.76 3.91 Bangkok 1651.4 1563.88 5.60 Manila 8144.16 7,466.02 9.08 Jakarta 6538.638 6,194.50 5.56 Kuala Lumpur 1683.53 1690.58 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 908.67 892.54 1.81 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; additional reporting by Syed Saif Hussain; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Rise on optimism from Sino-U.S. trade talks

01 Feb 2019

* Indonesia annual consumer inflation slows in January * Philippines gains most, up over 1 percent * Malaysia closed for Federal Territory Day By Mensholong Lepcha Feb 1 Southeast Asian stocks rose on Friday as the latest round of Sino-U.S. trade talks ended on a positive note, with President Donald Trump saying he was optimistic that the two nations could reach "the biggest deal ever made." Philippine shares climbed the most in the region, rising as much as 1.3 percent on broad-based gains. Index heavyweights SM Investment Corp and BDO Unibank added as much as 0.9 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Trump said on Thursday he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal. However, no specific plans for the meeting were announced. The latest round of talks also helped offset a private survey data that showed China's January factory activity shrank the most in almost three years. Most other markets in the region were in an upbeat mood, with Indonesian shares rising as much as 0.8 percent after data showed the country's annual consumer inflation in January slowed more than expected. Financial stocks dominated gains on the Jakarta index, with both Bank Central Asia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) hitting record highs. "The high-level China-U.S. trade talks did not result in any negative headlines. Expectations for a sweeping deal were low to begin with and the market is probably relieved that trade tensions are no longer escalating," said DBS Group Research in a client note. "That said, the 1st March deadline (where the United States would slap even more tariffs on Chinese imports) looms. If a deal is not struck by then, there would be a dent on sentiment," DBS Group Research added. Thai shares were up as much as 0.3 percent ahead of inflation data slated to release later in the day. A Reuters poll showed Thai annual headline inflation rate in January may have slowed from the previous month and stayed below the central bank's target range for a third straight month. Index heavyweights PTT and PTT Exploration and Production climbed as much as 1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Elsewhere, Singapore and Vietnam shares were nearly flat. Malaysian stock market was closed for Federal Territory Day. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0316 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3191.94 3190.17 0.06 Bangkok 1646.14 1641.73 0.27 Manila 8111.9 8007.48 1.30 Jakarta 6555.79 6532.969 0.35 Ho Chi Minh 911.25 910.65 0.07 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3191.94 3068.76 4.01 Bangkok 1646.14 1563.88 5.26 Manila 8111.9 7,466.02 8.65 Jakarta 6555.79 6,194.50 5.83 Kuala Lumpur 1683.53 1690.58 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 911.25 892.54 2.10 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on dovish Fed; Indonesia leads gains

31 Jan 2019

* Indonesia climbs over 1 pct, posts 3rd straight monthly rise * Philippines post biggest monthly gain since March 2016 By Mensholong Lepcha Jan 31 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday on the U.S. Federal Reserve's dovish outlook, with Indonesia hitting a near 11-month high while Philippines erased some of its gains after the country's central bank flagged an acceleration in inflation. The Fed kept rates at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent on Wednesday as widely expected, which are well below historical averages. The U.S. central bank also discarded its promises of "further gradual increases" in interest rates, and said it would be "patient" before making any further moves amid signs of global economic slowdown and a damaging trade war with China. Rising U.S. borrowing costs in 2018 had led to massive capital flight from emerging markets, prompting regional central banks to hike rates to reduce the rate differential and combat a stronger U.S. dollar. "Markets clearly like the newly dovish Fed, which had exceeded expectations for dovishness in the midst of a positive output gap and tight labor market," Mizuho Bank said in a client note. Indonesian shares jumped 1.1 percent, boosted by financial and industrial stocks. The index rose 5.5 percent in January in its third straight monthly gain. Bank Central Asia and Unilever Indonesia gained about 2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. An index of the country's top 45 liquid stocks climbed 1.5 percent to its highest since April 2018. Philippine shares closed 0.3 percent higher after gaining as much as 1.5 percent earlier in the session. The benchmark stock index pared its gains after the central bank said January annual inflation is likely to settle within a range of 4.3 percent to 5.1 percent, above its target of 2-4 percent for 2019. Surging inflation had dented consumption and put pressure on the peso in 2018, prompting Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to hike its benchmark rate five times. The Philippine stock index added 7.3 percent in January, in its sharpest monthly gain since March 2016. Gains in energy and financial stocks helped Thai shares rise about 0.6 percent to a near 8-week closing high. Index heavyweights PTT and PTT Exploration and Production climbed 0.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Elsewhere, Vietnam shares ended 0.6 percent lower, while Malaysian shares retreated from early gains to close flat. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3190.17 3174.38 0.50 Bangkok 1641.73 1632.6 0.56 Manila 8007.48 7979.95 0.34 Jakarta 6532.969 6464.189 1.06 Kuala Lumpur 1683.53 1684.11 -0.03 Ho Chi Minh 910.65 915.84 -0.57 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3190.17 3068.76 3.96 Bangkok 1641.73 1563.88 4.98 Manila 8007.48 7,466.02 7.25 Jakarta 6532.969 6,194.50 5.46 Kuala Lumpur 1683.53 1690.58 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 910.65 892.54 2.03 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha and Aditya Soni; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-All rise; Indonesia hits near 11-month high

31 Jan 2019

* Philippines gains 8.4 percent in Jan * Thailand hits over 7-week high * Singapore, Malaysia snap 3 straight days of losses By Mensholong Lepcha Jan 31 Southeast Asian stocks rose on Thursday, in line with broader Asia, as the U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady while signalling its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy may be at an end. A dovish Fed helped MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rise 0.7 percent to its highest since Oct. 4. The Fed kept rates at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent as widely expected, which are well below historical averages. Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear that the U.S. central bank would be "patient" before making any further moves in raising borrowing costs. Investors now focus their attention on a crucial round of trade talks between high-level U.S.-China officials which began on Wednesday aimed at easing a months-long tariff war. The positive developments helped offset sentiment emanating from bleak Chinese factory data which showed activity contracted for a second straight month in January, pointing to further strains on China's economy that could heighten risks to global growth. Indonesian shares jumped as much as 0.9 percent to hit a near 11-month high. The index has gained 5.2 percent in January, on track for three straight months of gains. Unilever Indonesia gained as much as 1.7 percent, while Bank Central Asia climbed as much as 1.1 percent. Philippine shares led gains in Southeast Asia, rising over 1 percent. The benchmark has outperformed regional peers in so far in 2019, gaining 8.4 percent in January and on track for its biggest monthly gain since March 2016. BDO Unibank and SM Investment were the top boost, rising as much as 2.5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Thai shares were up as much as 0.9 percent, hitting an over 7-week high, with investors awaiting the country's trade data for December due later in the day. Singapore and Malaysia shares were on track to snap three consecutive days of losses, each rising as much as 0.7 percent. Singapore shares were up on broad-based gains, with management services firm ComfortDelGro Corp rising as much as 2.6 percent, while technology services provider Venture Corp hitting an over 3-1/2 month high. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0342 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3189.17 3174.38 0.47 Bangkok 1644.06 1632.6 0.70 Manila 8089.68 7979.95 1.38 Jakarta 6511.423 6464.189 0.73 Kuala Lumpur 1692.3 1684.11 0.49 Ho Chi Minh 916.99 915.84 0.13 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3189.17 3068.76 3.92 Bangkok 1644.06 1563.88 5.13 Manila 8089.68 7,466.02 8.35 Jakarta 6511.423 6,194.50 5.12 Kuala Lumpur 1692.3 1690.58 0.10 Ho Chi Minh 916.99 892.54 2.74 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines falls most in 2 weeks

30 Jan 2019

* Investors await U.S. Fed decision, Sino-U.S. trade talks * Malaysia down 0.4 pct, exports to China contract By Mensholong Lepcha Jan 30 Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday, with Philippine shares recording their worst fall in two weeks, as investors awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve rates review and key Sino-U.S. trade talks. The Fed is widely expected to leave rates unchanged on Wednesday, as policymakers had made it clear that they plan a "patient" pause in rate hikes. The central bank is taking a wait-and-see approach to further tightening in the face of a global economic slowdown, U.S. federal government shutdown, trade tensions and waning business and consumer confidence. Adding to investor caution is the start of a crucial round of Sino-U.S. trade talks on Wednesday and Thursday. Philippine shares fell as much as 1.7 percent on profit-taking before recovering partially to close 0.9 percent lower. "We are seeing sales of shares of companies with large institutional following, investors are now being cautious about what will happen in the U.S. Fed meeting," said Rachelle Cruz, a research analyst at AP Securities in Manila. Cruz said a lot of funds from the profit-taking were invested in "third-liner stocks", with Premiere Entertainment emerging as one of the most actively traded stocks after a funding deal worth 15 billion pesos ($286.67 million) with a Qatar-based investment management firm. Index heavyweights BDO Unibank Inc and SM Prime Holdings lost 2.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, while Premiere Entertainment closed at its highest level since November 1997. Malaysian shares fell 0.4 percent, dragged by utility and basic material stocks. Effects of the Sino-U.S. trade war were seen with data showing Malaysia's exports to China, a major trading partner, contracted 0.5 percent annually in December, while shipments to the United States surged 13.5 percent. Singapore shares closed 0.4 percent lower, with DBS Group Holdings and Singapore Press Holdings falling 1.2 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Thai shares gained 0.5 percent, with PTT Exploration and Production emerging as the top boost to the index after the company posted an 88.6 percent rise in full-year profit. PTT Exploration and Production rose 2.1 percent, while Airports of Thailand gained 1.5 percent. ($1 = 52.3250 Philippine pesos) For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3174.38 3187.69 -0.42 Bangkok 1632.6 1624.05 0.53 Manila 7979.95 8050.82 -0.88 Jakarta 6464.189 6436.48 0.43 Kuala Lumpur 1684.11 1690.41 -0.37 Ho Chi Minh 915.84 915.93 -0.01 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3174.38 3068.76 3.44 Bangkok 1632.6 1563.88 4.39 Manila 7979.95 7,466.02 6.88 Jakarta 6464.189 6,194.50 4.35 Kuala Lumpur 1684.11 1690.58 -0.38 Ho Chi Minh 915.84 892.54 2.61 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines biggest loser as markets await U.S. Fed rate review

30 Jan 2019

* U.S.-China trade talks to commence * Philippines biggest loser in Southeast Asia * Malaysia trade balance data due later in the day By Mensholong Lepcha Jan 30 Southeast Asian stocks were lower to little changed, with the Philippines leading losses on Wednesday, as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy review and looked toward trade talks between Washington and Beijing. The Fed is widely expected to leave rates unchanged on Wednesday, as policymakers had made it clear that they plan a "patient" pause in rate hikes, after raising rates gradually last year. The central bank is taking a wait-and-see approach to further tightening in the face of a global economic slowdown, U.S. federal government shutdown, trade tensions and waning business and consumer confidence. "With the FOMC policy decision due early tomorrow morning, market sentiments are likely to tread somewhat hesitantly while awaiting Fed chair Powell's press conference where he may shed some light on the intended rate trajectory and balance sheet unwinding process from here," said OCBC Treasury Research, in a client note. Sharing the limelight for the day is the start of a crucial round of Sino-U.S. trade talks as China's Vice Premier Liu He visits Washington. People familiar with the talks and trade experts watching the two sparring nations say that, so far, there has been little indication that Chinese officials are willing to address core U.S. demands to protect American intellectual property rights and end policies that Washington says force U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms. Philippine shares fell as much as 1.1 percent in lacklustre trade to hit a one-week low on broad-based losses. Index heavyweights SM Investments Corp fell as much as 1.5 percent, while BDO Unibank Inc lost as much as 2.4 percent. Malaysian shares fell about 0.2 percent as gains in consumer cyclicals and industrial stocks were outweighed by losses in utilities and financial stocks. Malayan Banking Bhd and Hartalega Holdings were the biggest drag on the index, losing as much as 1.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Investors now await the country's trade balance data due later in the day. A Reuters poll showed Malaysia's exports likely increased 2.4 percent in December from a year earlier, while import growth is expected to slow to 1.3 percent from a year earlier in December, after rising 5 percent the previous month. Meanwhile, Indonesian stock market climbed as much as 0.4 percent, helped by gains in technology and utilities stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0348 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3190.86 3187.69 0.10 Bangkok 1627.83 1624.05 0.23 Manila 7970.79 8050.82 -0.99 Jakarta 6454.488 6436.48 0.28 Kuala Lumpur 1689.26 1690.41 -0.07 Ho Chi Minh 914.76 915.93 -0.13 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3190.86 3068.76 3.98 Bangkok 1627.83 1563.88 4.09 Manila 7970.79 7,466.02 6.76 Jakarta 6454.488 6,194.50 4.20 Kuala Lumpur 1689.26 1690.58 -0.08 Ho Chi Minh 914.76 892.54 2.49 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on Sino-U.S. trade worries; Vietnam sole gainer

29 Jan 2019

* Huawei charges weigh on U.S.-China relations * Thailand snaps 9 straight sessions of gains By Mensholong Lepcha Jan 29 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Tuesday, with Malaysia leading the decline and Thailand snapping a nine-session winning streak, as concerns heightened about Sino-U.S. trade relations after the United States charged China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd with fraud. The U.S. Justice Department charged Huawei and its chief financial officer with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by doing business through a subsidiary it tried to hide and that was reported on by Reuters in 2012 and 2013. In a separate case, the department charged the telecommunications equipment maker with stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile US Inc. Huawei has said the companies settled their dispute in 2017. A further escalation in the U.S.-China trade war will likely trigger an even sharper global economic slowdown this year, economists said in a recent Reuters poll. Meanwhile, China unveiled a flurry of measures aimed at spurring sales of items ranging from cars and appliances to information services. Malaysian shares closed 0.4 percent lower with investors nervously awaiting the latest round of China-U.S. trade talks which will take place in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday. Telecom firm Axiata Group Bhd lost 4.4 percent, while chemical producer Petronas Chemicals Group fell 2 pct. Thai shares closed slightly lower, weighed down by energy stocks. Index heavyweights PTT and PTT Exploration and Production declined 1 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Investors now await January inflation data due on Friday for clues about the economy. A Reuters poll showed the annual headline inflation rate in January may have slowed from the previous month and stayed below the central bank's target range for a third straight month. Singapore shares fell 0.7 percent intraday before recovering slightly to close 0.4 percent lower. Singapore Airlines Ltd and Keppel Corp fell 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Vietnam shares were the sole gainers in Southeast Asia, recovering from early losses to rise 0.4 percent. The benchmark stock index closed higher for a fifth straight session. Financial and real estate stocks were the top gainers, with Vietcombank climbing over 2 percent and Vinhomes JSC rising more than 1 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3187.69 3199.5 -0.37 Bangkok 1624.05 1625.03 -0.06 Manila 8050.82 8053.92 -0.04 Jakarta 6436.48 6458.712 -0.34 Kuala Lumpur 1690.41 1697.5 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 915.93 912.18 0.41 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3187.69 3068.76 3.88 Bangkok 1624.05 1563.88 3.85 Manila 8050.82 7,466.02 7.83 Jakarta 6436.48 6,194.50 3.91 Kuala Lumpur 1690.41 1690.58 -0.01 Ho Chi Minh 915.93 892.54 2.62 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Fall as Sino-U.S. relation strains ahead of trade talks

29 Jan 2019

* Sino-U.S. trade deal hangs in balance * Tech exporters under pressure after Nvidia warning By Mensholong Lepcha Jan 29 Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday after the United States charged China's Huawei with bank fraud and for conspiring to steal trade secrets, denting hopes of a trade deal days before talks between Washington and Beijing. Broader Asian shares felt the heat of recent developments as the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5 percent. Investors nervously await resolution to U.S.-China trade spat as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He visits Washington on Jan. 30-31 for a fresh round of talks. Prospects for a Sino-U.S. trade deal dimmed as the U.S. Justice Department charged the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by doing business with Tehran through a subsidiary it tried to hide. However, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Huawei charges are "wholly separate" from the trade negotiations. "Having relented on the U.S. government shutdown, President Donald Trump needs to show a win on trade at his State of the Union address on 5 February," said DBS Group Research in a client note. "But this morning's indictments by the U.S. Department of Justice against China's Huawei, its chief financial officer, and two bank affiliates illustrate the risks attached to the U.S.-China relationship," DBS added. Singapore and Vietnam, both technology exporters, were also under pressure after warnings from U.S. manufacturers Caterpillar Inc and Nvidia Corp about softening Chinese demand. Singapore shares fell as much as 0.7 percent, with a bulk of losses coming from the technology sector, after Nvidia Corp on Monday cut its fourth-quarter revenue estimate on weak demand for its gaming chips in China and lower-than-expected data centre sales. Venture Corp slipped as much as 1.3 percent, while Singapore Technologies Engineering lost as much as 1 percent. Vietnam shares were on track to snap four straight days of gains, losing as much as 0.5 percent. Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp and Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage were the biggest drags, falling as much as 1.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Thai shares slipped as much as 0.3 percent on broad-based losses. Data on Tuesday showed the country's manufacturing production index (MPI) in December rose 0.75 percent from a year earlier, but missed analyst expectations For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0336 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3181.09 3199.5 -0.58 Bangkok 1623.52 1625.03 -0.09 Manila 8026.14 8053.92 -0.34 Jakarta 6453.835 6458.712 -0.08 Kuala Lumpur 1689.71 1697.5 -0.46 Ho Chi Minh 907.83 912.18 -0.48 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3181.09 3068.76 3.66 Bangkok 1623.52 1563.88 3.81 Manila 8026.14 7,466.02 7.50 Jakarta 6453.835 6,194.50 4.19 Kuala Lumpur 1689.71 1690.58 -0.05 Ho Chi Minh 907.83 892.54 1.71 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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