May 13, 2019 / 4:43 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on fears of fresh escalation in U.S.-China trade war

    * Markets on the lookout for retaliation from Beijing
    * Singapore tumbles 1.3%

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
declined on Monday as investors feared a possible retaliation by
China after trade talks between Washington and Beijing failed to
reach a conclusion last week.
    Singapore stocks led losses after trade talks hit a
wall as Washington pressed hard to get China to change certain
laws while Beijing remained defiant, saying it would not swallow
any "bitter fruit" that harmed its interests.
    "The sudden, unexpected collapse ahead of the final step to
ink a 150-page long trade deal caught market by surprise," OCBC
analyst Tommy Xie Dongming said in a note to clients.
    "Markets will tread cautiously, with the market focus still
be on any developing headlines about China's possible
retaliatory moves and next steps for trade talks from here until
Trump and Xi meet at the G20 meeting in late June," Xie Dongming
added.
    Singapore's Straits Times index, whose stocks are most
exposed to global trade in the region, tumbled as much as 1.3%
to its lowest since April 1, pressured by consumer and oil
stocks.
    DBS Group, Southeast Asia's largest lender, fell
1.7% to its lowest since April 2, while conglomerate Jardine
Cycle & Carriage Ltd fell 1.4% to its lowest since
April 16.
    Malaysian stocks fell as much as 0.4% to its lowest
since January 21, 2016. The index, which has fallen 1.4% since
Trump announced his tariff hike plan, was dragged by consumer
cyclicals and healthcare stocks.
    Indonesia's benchmark, too, traded lower, with
enamel kitchenware manufacturer Kedaung Indah Can
falling 20% to its lowest since February 27, while Visi
Telekomunikasi Infrastruktur fell 12.24% to its lowest
since July 23, 2018.
    Meanwhile, Vietnamese stocks traded marginally
higher, helped by a rally in consumer stocks.
    The Philippine market was closed on Monday as the
archipelago nation observes a special non-working holiday to
hold its midterm elections, which is largely seen as referendum
on the Duterte administration.   
      

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0431 GMT
    
 Market            Current    Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore         3235.33    3273.5          -1.17
 Bangkok           1646.09    1648.69         -0.16
 Jakarta           6194.147   6209.118        -0.24
 Kuala Lumpur      1604.32    1610.27         -0.37
 Ho Chi Minh       956.16     952.55          0.38
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market            Current    End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore         3235.33    3068.76         5.43
 Bangkok           1646.09    1563.88         5.26
 Manila            7742.2     8558.42         -9.54
 Jakarta           6194.147   6194.498        -0.01
 Kuala Lumpur      1604.32    1690.58         -5.10
 Ho Chi Minh       956.16     984.24          -2.85
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba; editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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