August 13, 2019 / 10:47 AM / 13 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Drop on fragile global sentiment; Singapore cuts growth outlook

    * Malaysia posts lowest close in nearly four years
    * Thai shares dragged lower by financial and industrial
stocks

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower
on Tuesday, tracking global peers, with bellwether Singapore
cutting its growth outlook as geopolitical tensions over Hong
Kong protests and the Sino-U.S. trade dispute dented investor
sentiment.
    The geopolitical tensions added to the gloom from an impasse
in the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, ahead of further U.S.
tariffs on Chinese goods that are slated to kick in next month.

    The Hong Kong airport, the busiest cargo airport in the
world, stalled operations after violent protests plunged the
Asian financial hub into its most serious political crisis in
decades, while China said the wave of protests in the island
city had started showing "sprouts of terrorism".
    "Dropping the "T" word is particularly disturbing as it does
suggest a more aggressive mainland response, which triggered a
wave of risk aversion across global markets," Stephen Innes,
managing partner at VM Markets Pte Ltd, said in a note to
clients.
    The sentiment in emerging markets was particularly cautious
after Argentine markets plummeted on Monday as President
Mauricio Macri lost by a greater-than-expected margin in the
country's presidential primaries, increasing the risk of a
return to interventionist economic policies. 
    Singapore stocks hit their lowest close in more than
two months after the city-state trimmed its full-year expected
growth range to zero to 1% from a previous forecast of 
1.5%-2.5%.     
    Singapore is considered a bellwether for global trade
conditions as its international trade far surpasses its domestic
economy.
    Index heavyweights Jardine Matheson Holdings and
Jardine Strategic Holdings closed down 2.2% and 2.9%,
respectively.
    The Thai index, the biggest laggard in the region,
extended losses after posting its worst intraday session in
nearly eight months. 
    The index was dragged lower by financial and industrial
sectors, with lender Siam Commercial Bank dropping
1.5%, while Airports of Thailand ended down 3.6%.
    Malaysian shares posted their lowest close in nearly
four years, dented by losses in financial and resources sectors.
    Lender Public Bank Bhd ended down 3.6%, while
chemicals producer Petronas Chemical Group Bhd closed
2% lower.
    Philippine shares and Vietnam stocks ended
down 0.8% each.
    Markets in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and
Thailand were closed on Monday for public holiday.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3146.73   3168.94         -0.70
 Bangkok                1620.23   1650.64         -1.84
 Manila                 7788.45   7854.39         -0.84
 Jakarta                6210.962  6250.595        -0.63
 Kuala Lumpur           1592.88   1615.05         -1.37
 Ho Chi Minh            966.83    975.31          -0.87
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3146.73   3068.76         2.54
 Bangkok                1620.23   1563.88         3.60
 Manila                 7788.45   7,466.02        4.32
 Jakarta                6210.962  6,194.50        0.27
 Kuala Lumpur           1592.88   1690.58         -5.78
 Ho Chi Minh            966.83    892.54          8.32
 
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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