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SE Asia Stocks-Fall as tensions brew after North Korea fires missile over Japan
August 29, 2017 / 3:57 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Fall as tensions brew after North Korea fires missile over Japan

    By Ambar Warrick
    Aug 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Tuesday in line with broader Asia as investors sought out
safe havens such as gold after North Korea fired a missile over
northern Japan.
    North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan and landed
in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido early on Tuesday,
South Korean and Japanese officials said, marking a sharp
escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.
    The test, which experts said appeared to have been a
recently developed intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile, came
as U.S. and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills
on the peninsula, against which North Korea strenuously objects.
    Asian markets tumbled following the launch, with MSCI's 
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
shedding as much as 0.9 percent. Spot gold hit its
highest since early November and was last up 0.5 percent.
 
    "I think it is a knee-jerk reaction as to what happened with
North Korea. It still depends on how the United States is going
to respond," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based
Asiasec Equities Inc.
    In Southeast Asia, Malaysian shares led the decline,
with the main stock index falling to a more than one-month low.
    Financials and industrial stocks were the biggest drag.
Malayan Banking Bhd dropped to a near three-month low,
while industrial conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd fell as
much as 2.1 percent.
    Singapore shares fell as much as 0.7 percent before  
reversing losses to trade 0.2 percent down. 
    Financial and telecom stocks were among the biggest losers
with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd falling to its
lowest in more than one month and Singapore Telecommunications
Ltd shedding as much as 1.1 percent.    
    "Against the backdrop of Federal Reserve Chair (Janet)
Yellen's speech last Friday, the odds of an interest rate hike
in December have dropped and investors are pricing in a less
steep yield curve going forward, which implies that net interest
margins at banks will not rise as rapidly as previously
expected," said Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital.
        
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change as at 0325 GMT    
  Change on the day                                         
  Market              Current      previous close   Pct Move
  Singapore           3259.91      3267.62          -0.24
  Bangkok             1586.38      1585.79          0.04
  Manila              7997.88      8015.14          -0.22
  Jakarta             5879.83      5903.341         -0.40
  Kuala Lumpur        1759.52      1769.49          -0.56
  Ho Chi Minh         776.25       777.26           -0.13
  Change so far in                                  
 2017                                               
  Market              Current      End 2016         Pct Move
  Singapore           3259.91      2880.76          13.16
  Bangkok             1586.38      1542.94          2.82
  Manila              7997.88      6840.64          16.92
  Jakarta             5879.83      5296.711         11.01
  Kuala Lumpur        1759.52      1641.73          7.17
  Ho Chi Minh         776.25       664.87           16.75
 
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  

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