May 15, 2020 / 4:43 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines falls over 1%; Indonesia lower as exports, imports drop

    * Indonesia set for second straight week of losses
    * China retail sales fell 7.5% vs forecast of 7%
    * Thai shares flat

    By Pranav A K
    May 15 (Reuters) - Philippine shares dropped more than 1% on
Friday, dragged down by the financial sector, while stocks in
Indonesia hit an over three-week low after data showed that
Southeast Asia's largest economy swung back to a trade deficit
in April. 
    Markets in the region were also pressured by worsening
Sino-U.S. relations over the new coronavirus, as President
Donald Trump said he had no interest in speaking to his Chinese
counterpart Xi Jinping right now and suggested that he could
even cut ties with China.  
    "As the US faces the worst of the health crisis, President
Trump’s attempts at deflection seem likely to engender hawkish
policy towards China, threatening business relations and the
trade outcomes of 2019," ANZ Research said.
    Banking stocks, which have seen their profits shrink due to
the pandemic, dominated the losses in the Philippines,
with Metro Pacific Investments and BDO Unibank
falling 2.2% and 1.2%, respectively.    
    Indonesian shares were 0.4% lower, having fallen as
much as 1.2% earlier. The country's $350 million trade deficit
in April was larger than the $200 million gap expected in a
Reuters poll, as exports and imports plunged.
    The country's benchmark was poised for its second straight
weekly loss. 
    Further weighing on sentiment, retail sales in China, the
region's biggest trade partner, fell by 7.5% in April, compared
with a forecast 7.0% fall, even as industrial production data
came in better than expected.
    "I believe the market is chasing its tail increasingly and
the retail sales has given the short term negative ascendency,"
senior market analyst at OANDA Jeffrey Halley said.
    Stocks in Vietnam ticked lower, while Thai shares
 were little changed as energy stocks lent support on the
back of higher oil prices.  
    Meanwhile, the Malaysian benchmark index added 0.6%
and was set for a third straight session of gains, helped by
industrial stocks.
    Shares of MISC Bhd rose 2.6%, while Sime Darby Bhd
 gained 2.1%.
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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2526.65   2522.31         0.17
 Bangkok                1280.67   1280.4          0.02
 Manila                 5586.46   5654.7          -1.21
 Jakarta                4492.933  4513.834        -0.46
 Kuala Lumpur           1404.96   1397.25         0.55
 Ho Chi Minh            829.02    832.4           -0.41
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2526.65   3222.83         -21.60
 Bangkok                1280.67   1579.84         -18.94
 Manila                 5586.46   7,815.26        -28.52
 Jakarta                4492.933  6,299.54        -28.68
 Kuala Lumpur           1404.96   1588.76         -11.57
 Ho Chi Minh            829.02    960.99          -13.73

 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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