May 19, 2017 / 4:56 AM / 8 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tepid amid Trump worries

    By Anusha Ravindranath
    May 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were tepid
on Friday as investors shied away from taking any big bets amid
concerns that political turmoil in the United States could delay
efforts by President Donald Trump to implement his economic
stimulus plans.
    Trump, striking a defiant tone on Thursday after days of
political tumult, denied asking former FBI Director James Comey
to drop a probe into his former national security adviser and
decried a "witch hunt" against him.
    Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring
developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice
Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible
ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
    "There are a lot of uncertainties in the emerging markets
arising from external issues, including the one related to the
U.S. president, and I think investors are taking a wait-and-see
approach in terms of making any further commitments," said Taye
Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
    "Other than that, the fundamental growth recovery still
remains intact and we believe that emerging markets will still
be the key beneficiary in this recovery cycle." 
    Trading was relatively soft in Southeast Asia. MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 fell 0.2 percent at one point.
    Philippine shares were little changed on Friday with
industrial and telecom stocks among the major losers. JG Summit
Holdings fell 1.5 percent. The Philippine stock index
was headed for a second straight weekly fall.
    Singapore shares were almost flat, but headed for
their first weekly drop in four.
    Jakarta was up 0.3 percent, but poised for its third
straight weekly decline. 
    Malaysian stocks were slightly higher, helped by
data showing the economy grew at a better-than-expected 5.6
percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.
    Vietnam hit a more than one-month high, supported by
energy stocks, and was on track to post its fourth straight
weekly gain. 
    Vietnam National Petroleum Group climbed 4.9
percent  and Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock gained 1.3
percent, as oil futures rose on growing optimism that big
producing countries will extend output cuts to curb a persistent
glut in crude.
    Thai shares edged up, aided by energy stocks. Thai
Oil PCL rose 1.7 percent. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change at 0407                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3219.1        3221.66      -0.08
  Bangkok          1547.9        1545.88      0.13
  Manila           7750.46       7757.69      -0.09
  Jakarta          5663.136      5645.451     0.31
  Kuala Lumpur     1770.41       1767.17      0.18
  Ho Chi Minh      729.01        726.99       0.28
 Change so far                                
 this year                                    
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3219.1        2880.76      11.74
  Bangkok          1547.9        1542.94      0.32
  Manila           7750.46       6840.64      13.3
  Jakarta          5663.136      5296.711     6.92
  Kuala Lumpur     1770.41       1641.73      7.84
  Ho Chi Minh      729.01        664.87       9.6
 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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