May 13, 2019 / 10:15 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end weaker as U.S.-China trade rift deepens

    * China yet to retaliate to Trump's tariff hike
    * Singapore is top drag in the region
    * Vietnam ends marginally higher

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed
lower on Monday, as investors took a cautious stance fearing
flare-up in the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, while anxiety over
a possible retaliation by Beijing kept sentiment fragile.
    Until last week, there were expectations that U.S. President
Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would sign a
trade deal at the summit. However, the trade talks suffered a
major setback last week when China proposed extensive revisions
to a draft agreement.
    "Tensions appear to have ratcheted up with Trump threatening
to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports if a deal is not
concluded within a month. Accordingly, the next few weeks would
be volatile across all asset classes as the markets brace for
the possibility of a no-deal," DBS Group analysts said in a
note.
    Trade tensions between two of the world's leading economies
worsened last week after Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion
worth of Chinese goods, and markets have been anxious as Beijing
vowed to take counter measures. 
    Singapore's Straits Times index, whose stocks are
most exposed to global trade, was the biggest decliner in the
regional market.    
    The benchmark ended the session 1.2% lower, its weakest
since April 1, pressured by financial services and consumer
stocks.
    DBS Group, Southeast Asia's largest lender, closed
2% down at its lowest since April 2, while conglomerate Jardine
Cycle & Carriage Ltd dropped 2.2% to its lowest close
since April 15.
    The Malaysian index, which languished at its lowest
close since Jan. 21, 2016, dropped 1.9% ever since Trump
announced his tariff hike plan on May 6.
    The Indonesian benchmark dropped about 1% to its
weakest since Dec 26, 2018, dragged lower by property developer
Duta Pertiwi's 20% plunge and frozen seafood products
maker Sekar Bumi's nearly 17% tumble.
    Bucking the trend, Vietnamese stocks advanced higher,
helped by a rally in utilities and technology stocks.
    The Philippine market was closed on Monday as the
archipelago nation holds its mid-term elections.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
  Change on day                                   
  Market           Current     Previous   Pct Move
                               Close      
  Singapore        3236.92     3273.5     -1.20
  Bangkok          1637.94     1648.69    -0.52
  Jakarta          6135.396    6209.118   -1.19
  Kuala Lumpur     1601.09     1610.27    -0.57
  Ho Chi Minh      958.54      952.55      0.63
                                          
  Change on year                          
  Market           Current     End 2017   Pct Move
  Singapore        3236.92     3068.76    5.39
  Bangkok          1637.94     1563.88    4.88
  Manila           7742.2      8558.42    -9.54
  Jakarta          6135.396    6194.498   -0.95
  Kuala Lumpur     1601.09     1690.58    -5.29
  Ho Chi Minh      958.54      984.24     -2.61
 


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