SE Asia Stocks-Fall as Mideast tensions escalate, Philippines leads declines

    * Philippines marks worst session in 3 weeks
    * Indonesia hits lowest in over 2 weeks
    * Financials, industrial sectors weigh on Singapore index

    By Sameer Manekar
    Jan 6 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks fell more than 1% on
Monday as soaring oil prices stoked fears of inflationary
pressure for the net oil importing nation, while other Southeast
Asian markets were also in the red due to heightened Middle East
    Oil prices shot more than 2% higher and Brent rose above $70
a barrel after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose
sanctions on Iraq and retaliate against Iran if it strikes back
after the killing of its top commander.
    Trump's threat against Iraq, the second largest producer
among the OPEC, comes after its parliament voted in favour of
expelling U.S. troops.
    The Philippine benchmark index slipped as much as
1.8%. Real estate firm SM Prime Holdings shed 1.3%,
while lender BDO Unibank lost 1.1%.
     "The escalating tensions between the United States and Iran
will be a big factor on inflation in the Philippines. Since it
is a net oil importer, any significant oil rally would affect
both inflation and the currency," Rachelle Cruz, analyst at AP
Securities said.
    "For stock markets, any weakness in the currency would be a
deterrent for foreign investors."
    The Philippine peso weakened 0.2% against the dollar.
    Malaysian shares shed 0.9% as banking and consumer
stocks weighed.
    Malayan Banking Bhd fell 0.9% and Sime Darby
Plantations 1.6%.
    Indonesian equities fell as much as 1.1%, their
biggest intraday fall in over a month.
    Financials and consumer firms were the biggest drags, with
Bank Central Asia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia
losing 1% and 1.1%, while Unilever Indonesia shed
    An index of Jakarta's 45 most liquid stocks fell
as much as 1.5%.
    Thai stocks fell the most since Dec. 16, with
Kasikornbank PCL and Airports of Thailand
losing 3.6% and 1.7%.
    Financial and industrial sectors weighed on Singapore's
benchmark index.
    Heavyweights United Overseas Bank and Jardine
Strategic Holdings were down 0.8% and 1.2%,

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 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3221.87  3238.82         -0.52
 Bangkok                1582.55  1594.97         -0.78
 Manila                 7732.82  7839.79         -1.36
 Jakarta                6289.85  6323.466        -0.53
 Kuala Lumpur           1596.38  1611.38         -0.93
 Ho Chi Minh            959.09   965.14          -0.63
 Change so far in 2020                           
 Market                 Current  End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3221.87  3222.83         -0.03
 Bangkok                1582.55  1579.84         0.17
 Manila                 7732.82  7,815.26        -1.05
 Jakarta                6289.85  6,299.54        -0.15
 Kuala Lumpur           1596.38  1588.76         0.48
 Ho Chi Minh            959.09   960.99          -0.20

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; editing by