November 29, 2019 / 4:59 AM / 11 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most drop as Sino-U.S. tensions over Hong Kong cap risk mood

    * Indonesia set to snap six-day losing streak
    * Thailand trade data due later in the day
    * Singapore set for worst week in nearly 2 months

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Nov 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets fell in
low-volume trade on Friday as investors were worried that a new
U.S. bill backing protesters in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong may
cloud trade negotiations between two of the world's leading
economies.
    On Thursday, China threatened reprisal after U.S. President
Donald Trump signed into law the legislation supporting
anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.  
    Asian markets were sold off due to uncertainty over how U.S.
markets will perceive the latest clash between Washington and
Beijing. Traders on Wall Street will start a half-day session on
Friday following Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.
    "Though China has yet to retaliate in response to Trump
signing the bill, we are cautious if they will do a 'surprise'
over the weekend," Maybank said in a note. 
    Investors also exercised caution ahead of official data on
China's manufacturing activity, which according to a Reuters
poll is expected to have contracted for a seventh straight month
in November as domestic demand eased.
    The trade-sensitive Singapore index fell 0.4%, poised
for its worst week in nearly two months, dented by losses in DBS
Group Holdings. 
    The Philippine benchmark was in the red, extending
losses to a second session, and was on track for a third weekly
decline. 
    Large-caps SM Investments and Ayala Corp
lost 0.9% and 0.5%, respectively. 
    Thai stocks dropped for a fourth straight session
ahead of the country's October trade data. 
    Malaysian equities also fell, with power utility
Tenaga Nasional dropping 2.9%. 
    The Indonesian benchmark, which marked its lowest
close in six months in the previous session, was on track to
snap a six-session losing streak.
    Gains in the index were underpinned by communication
services stocks, with Telekomunikasi Indonesia adding
2.6%. 

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0446 GMT     
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3187.53   3200.61         -0.41
 Bangkok                1586.03   1597.68         -0.73
 Manila                 7717.12   7768.66         -0.66
 Jakarta                5995.901  5953.06          0.72
 Kuala Lumpur           1572.45   1583.77         -0.71
 Ho Chi Minh            972.5     970.39           0.22
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3187.53   3068.76         3.87
 Bangkok                1586.03   1563.88         1.42
 Manila                 7717.12   7,466.02        3.36
 Jakarta                5995.901  6,194.50        -3.21
 Kuala Lumpur           1572.45   1690.58         -6.99
 Ho Chi Minh            972.5     892.54          8.96
 
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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