May 14, 2019 / 9:58 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end lower on fresh strain in U.S.-China trade war

    * China imposes retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods
    * Vietnam bucks trend to end higher

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asia stock markets closed
weaker on Tuesday, with the Philippine index leading the
decline, after China's counter tariffs on U.S. goods stoked an
escalation in the months-long trade conflict between Washington
and Beijing.    
    China on Monday said it would impose higher tariffs on $60
billion worth of U.S. goods, despite President Donald Trump's
warning to not retaliate against additional tariffs on Chinese
imports.
    "With the announcement of China's retaliation overnight that
tariffs on 2,493 U.S. products will be raised to between 5% and
25% from June 1, the risk-off tone has submerged most financial
markets," OCBC analysts said in a note to clients.
    Beijing's retaliation was in response to sharp additional
tariffs imposed by Trump on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods
last Friday, which took effect while the two nations were
mid-way through trade talks that ultimately ended in a deadlock.
 
    However, Trump's comment on Monday that he was optimistic
about resolving the months-long trade dispute provided some
salve to the markets.
    Philippine stocks, which resumed trading following an
election holiday, tumbled 1.2% to its lowest close since March
4, weighed down by consumer stocks.   
    The archipelagic nation held its mid-term elections on May
13, and unofficial results showed that President Rodrigo
Duterte's allies held the top spots.
    Indonesia's index closed at a near six-month low,
pressured by basic material and healthcare stocks. Jakarta-based
tire manufacturer Multistrada Arah Sarana shed about
25% to close at a near six-month low.
    Singapore's Straits Times index closed weaker,
restrained by industrial and oil stocks. Conglomerate Jardine
Matheson Holdings, among the top drag on the index,
ended 1.5% lower.
    Bucking the trend, Vietnam stocks ended the session
marginally higher, driven by utilities sector.
    Analysts are of the view that Vietnam could benefit if the
U.S.-China trade war continues to drag. 
    Tech heavyweights such as South Korea's Samsung Electronics
 and LG Electronics, are seen shifting
their manufacturing facilities into Vietnam from China, to cut
costs and minimize tariffs.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
        
    
 Change on the day                                   
 Market                 Current    Previous close    Pct Move
 Singapore              3223.71    3234.28           -0.33
 Bangkok                1633.84    1640.13           -0.38
 Manila                 7646.66    7742.2            -1.23
 Jakarta                6071.202   6135.396          -1.05
 Kuala Lumpur           1599.19    1601.09           -0.12
 Ho Chi Minh            965.34     958.54             0.71
                                                     
 Change so far in 2019                               
 Market                 Current    End 2018          Pct Move
 Singapore              3223.71    3068.76           5.05
 Bangkok                1633.84    1563.88           4.47
 Manila                 7646.66    7,466.02          2.42
 Jakarta                6071.202   6,194.50          -1.99
 Kuala Lumpur           1599.19    1690.58           -5.41
 Ho Chi Minh            965.34     892.54            8.16
      
     

 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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