January 2, 2019 / 9:56 AM / 8 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end lower; weak economic data stokes slowdown fears

    * Most deepen losses towards close after weak China data
    * Thailand, Philippines cling to meagre gains
    * Malaysia worst performer, closes at near two-week low

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Jan 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks erased early
gains to end in the red on Wednesday with Malaysia losing the
most, as disappointing Chinese economic data and a barrage of
other dismal economic indicators stoked fears of a slowdown.
    In China — the region's largest trading partner — the
Caixin/Markit PMI slipped into contraction territory for the
first time in 19 months in December, broadly tracking an
official survey released on Monday.
    With the fresh data, together with a fall in industrial
profits, and softer retail sales growth in November, "we can
confirm that the economy is weakening," Iris Pang, economist,
Greater China at ING said in a note to clients. 
    China's weakness spilled over to other Asian economies, with
Malaysia's manufacturing activity in December shrinking to its
weakest pace of expansion since it launched the survey in 2012.

    Adding to the worries, official economic data out of
export-reliant Singapore showed its gross domestic product grew
more slowly than forecast in the fourth quarter as its
manufacturing sector contracted on a quarterly basis.

    The Malaysian benchmark index was the worst
performer in the region, shedding 1.3 percent, with shares of
Sime Darby Plantation Berhad falling 4.4 percent,
while those of oil and gas services provider Dialog Group Berhad
 ending 3.5 percent lower.
    Singapore's index followed suit, tumbling nearly 1
percent. Shares of industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson
Holdings Ltd and lender UOL Group Ltd lost
2.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
    The Indonesian index also edged lower on the back of
material and telecom stocks. 
    Meanwhile, Indonesia's December annual inflation rate eased,
but the pace was quicker than expected, data from the statistics
bureau showed on Wednesday.
    Bucking the trend, Philippine's index rose as strong
gains in real-estate stocks offset losses in most other sectors.
Driving the benchmark was heavyweight Ayala Land Inc's
counter, which bounced back after falling for two consecutive
    Shares of property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc
along with Ayala Land were among top boosts to the index, up 3.4
percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
    Thailand's index edged up, with financials and
energy stocks underpinning gains.    

For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3038.89   3068.76         -0.97
 Bangkok                1565.94   1563.88         0.13
 Manila                 7489.2    7466.02         0.31
 Jakarta                6181.175  6194.498        -0.22
 Kuala Lumpur           1668.11   1690.58         -1.33
 Ho Chi Minh            891.75    892.54          -0.09
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3038.89   3068.76         -0.97
 Bangkok                1565.94   1563.88         0.13
 Manila                 7489.2    7,466.02        0.31
 Jakarta                6181.175  6,194.50        -0.22
 Kuala Lumpur           1668.11   1690.58         -1.33
 Ho Chi Minh            891.75    892.54          -0.09

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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