March 2, 2018 / 10:27 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on trade war fears

    * Philippines recovers from early plunge to close slightly
    * Thailand, Singapore decline 1 pct each, biggest losers

    By Aditya Soni
    March 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Friday, in line with broader Asia, as U.S. President Donald
Trump's plan to press hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium
imports sparked fears of a global trade war.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 sank 1.1 percent after Wall Street posted steep
losses overnight.
    "Given uncertainty whether the move presages a path of
increased tariff application for the US, we expect risk
sentiment to remain fragile for now," Mizuho Bank said in a
    The diversion of supply from the U.S. market will likely
lower global steel prices, which should help the ASEAN economies
as they are among the world's largest importers of steel, said
    Philippine shares fell as much as 1.5 percent before
cutting losses to close slightly lower. However, they posted
their lowest close in 10 weeks.
    Industrials accounted for about half the drop, with JG
Summit Holdings Inc sliding 5 and LT Group Inc
falling 3.1 percent.      
    Singapore shares dropped 1 percent, dragged mostly by
financials. DBS Group Holdings Ltd, the city-state's
biggest stock by market capitalisation, dipped 1.4 percent to a
more than two-week closing low, while United Overseas Bank Ltd
 slipped 1 percent.
    Thai shares declined 1 percent, their biggest in
more than three weeks. Data released earlier showed that the
country's annual inflation rate eased in February, missing
forecasts and keeping below the central bank's goal.

    This would give policymakers leeway to keep monetary policy
loose to aid economic growth.
    Indonesian shares dropped 0.4 percent and Malaysia
 slipped 0.3 percent, with consumer stocks under the cosh
in both markets.
    India, the world's biggest edible oil importer, raised
import tax on crude and refined palm oil to the highest level in
more than a decade.
    India primarily imports palm oil from Indonesia and
Malaysia, both of which are two of the world's biggest exporters
of the vegetable oil.
    Indonesian plam oil producer Salim Ivomas Pratama Tbk PT
 slumped 7.2 percent, in its biggest one-day drop in
more than two-and-a-half years, while Astra Agro Lestari Tbk PT
 declined 0.8 percent. 
    Malaysia's Sime Darby Bhd fell 2.2 percent, while
Genting Bhd slipped 1.3 percent.
    For the week, Singapore dropped 1.5 percent, Indonesia shed
0.6 percent and Vietnam gained 1.7 percent. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3479.2    3513.85         -0.99
 Bangkok         1811.98   1830.13         -0.99
 Manila          8458.57   8465.77         -0.09
 Jakarta         6582.316  6606.053        -0.36
 Kuala Lumpur    1856.07   1860.86         -0.26
 Ho Chi Minh     1121.21   1115.79         0.49
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore       3479.2    3402.92         2.24
 Bangkok         1811.98   1753.71         3.32
 Manila          8458.57   8,558.42        -1.17
 Jakarta         6582.316  6,355.65        3.57
 Kuala Lumpur    1856.07   1796.81         3.30
 Ho Chi Minh     1121.21   984.24          13.92
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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