May 9, 2019 / 10:19 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines biggest loser on weak growth data; trade deal jitters remain

    * Philippines biggest loser; cenbank cuts interest rate by
25bp
    * Markets to be in risk-off mood till trade clarity emerges
-
analyst

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 9 (Reuters) - The Philippine stock index closed more
than 2 percent lower on Thursday on disappointing growth data,
while all its peers in Southeast Asia fell amid worries over
salvaging the U.S.-China trade deal before fresh U.S. tariff
hikes set in.
    Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is heading a delegation
scheduled to hold talks with U.S. counterparts in Washington on
Thursday and Friday, as China attempts to scrape out a deal to
avert an additional 25 percent U.S. tariff on $200 billion worth
of Chinese goods, set to take effect on Friday.
    China also threatened to retaliate if Trump's tariffs came
into force, and said it is fully prepared to defend its
interests in its tussle with the United States, which added to
fears of an escalation in the months-long U.S.-China trade
dispute.
    "The markets are likely to be in risk-off mood until we get
clarity on the outcome of trade talks, which will likely spark
higher volatility in either direction," said Liu Jinshu,
director of research at NRA Capital. 
    China's central bank on Thursday said new lending in the
month of April grew at a much slower pace than anticipated,
prompting analysts to expect further policy easing to support
the world's no. 2 economy, which as been reeling under slowing
growth.
    The Philippine index, which was the biggest loser in
the region, closed 2.2 percent lower, with industrials and
consumer non-cyclicals as top drags, following a
slower-than-expected first quarter growth in the economy.

    The weak data prompted the archipelago's central bank to cut
its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to
4.50 percent on Thursday to support growth.
    Indonesian stocks ended the session 1.1 percent
lower, weighed down by property developer Binakarya Jaya Abadi's
 20 percent plunge and e-commerce firm Kioson
Komersial's 16 percent drop.
    Incumbent Indonesian President Joko Widodo pledged on
Thursday to slim the government in his second term and cut red
tape hampering investment to boost economic reform in Southeast
Asia's biggest economy.
    Malaysia's index fell 0.9 percent to their lowest
since April 18 at close, dragged down by shares of financial
services provider AMMB Holdings which ended 2.6
percent lower and resort operator Genting Malaysia Berhad
 which fell 2.5 percent.
    Singapore's benchmark fell 0.5 percent to its lowest
since April 2, led by utilitties and oil stocks, while Thai
stocks backtracked on earlier gains to end 0.3 percent
lower.
        
For Asian Companies click;  

      
  Change on day                                   
  Market          Current     Previous   Pct Move
                              Close      
  Singapore       3269.7      3283.84    -0.43
  Bangkok         1646.8      1654.01    -0.44
  Manila          7755.62     7926.69    -2.16
  Jakarta         6198.804    6270.202   -1.14
  Kuala Lumpur    1618.53     1633.55    -0.92
  Ho Chi Minh     947.01      951.22     -0.44
                                         
  Change on year                         
  Market          Current     End 2017   Pct Move
  Singapore       3269.7      3068.76    6.55
  Bangkok         1646.8      1563.88    5.30
  Manila          7755.62     8558.42    -9.38
  Jakarta         6198.804    6194.498   0.07
  Kuala Lumpur    1618.53     1690.58    -4.26
  Ho Chi Minh     947.01      984.24     -3.78
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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