May 24, 2019 / 4:12 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most decline as Sino-U.S. trade dispute deepens

    * Indonesia set to end 4 weeks of declines
    * Thai shares dragged by energy stocks as oil plunged
overnight
    * Singapore April factory output due

    By Niyati Shetty
    May 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
declined on Friday as the trade war between the United States
and China snowballed into a deeper strategic issue, while
Indonesia was on track to snap four weeks of declines. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said his
administration's complaints against Huawei Technologies         
might be resolved within the framework of a Sino-U.S. trade
deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese firm "very
dangerous".
    Washington last week placed Huawei on a trade blacklist,
which effectively banned U.S. companies from selling goods to
the telecom giant.
    "Asian markets are likely to take another step back today as
investors reassess their market positioning amid the potentially
protracted US-China trade war," OCBC Bank said in a note to
clients.
    The Manila index fell up to 1.8%, dragged by
industrial and real estate stocks, but was poised to gain 1.6%
for the week. 
    Conglomerate SM Investments Corp lost 2.4%, while
property developer Ayala Land Inc dropped 2.3%.
    The spillover effect of the ban has also seeped into Asia
with retailers in the region, including in Singapore and
Philippines, refusing to accept Huawei phones for trade-ins as
customers look to offload their devices.
    Meanwhile, Singapore stocks traded marginally lower
ahead of the country's April manufacturing output figures due
later in the day. The index was set to fall 1.6% this week, its
third straight weekly loss.
    Economic data from the island, released earlier in the week,
showed Singapore's first-quarter annual economic growth contract
to the lowest in nearly a decade, as manufacturing contracted in
the wake of the bitter Sino-U.S. spat.
    The Thai bourse slipped 0.7% and was likely to
decline for a third consecutive week. Energy stocks dragged the
index as oil prices plunged overnight on dampened demand outlook
due to the ongoing trade tension.
    Oil & gas firms PTT Exploration and Production PCL
 and PTT PCL declined 4.6% and 1.6%,
respectively. 
    Indonesian stocks, however, advanced as much as 0.6%
and was expected to rise 3.8% for the week as it snaps four
straight weeks of losses. 
    Markets were largely positive during the week after
incumbent President Joko Widodo was re-elected, despite some
violence seen in the capital by protesters angry about the
outcome.
    Malaysian equities rose on Friday as consumer price
index in April rose 0.2% from a year earlier, matching the pace
in March, but was below a 0.4% estimate in a Reuters poll.

    Earlier this month, the country's central bank cut its key
interest rate for the first time since 2016, amid weak inflation
and concerns over slowing economic growth.

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0400 GMT 
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3151.58   3160.72         -0.29
 Bangkok                1602.07   1609.79         -0.48
 Manila                 7702.17   7804.03         -1.31
 Jakarta                6050.057  6032.696        0.29
 Kuala Lumpur           1605.6    1601.87         0.23
 Ho Chi Minh            980.95    982.71          -0.18
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3151.58   3068.76         2.70
 Bangkok                1602.07   1563.88         2.44
 Manila                 7702.17   7,466.02        3.16
 Jakarta                6050.057  6,194.50        -2.33
 Kuala Lumpur           1605.6    1690.58         -5.03
 Ho Chi Minh            980.95    892.54          9.91
 
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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