March 14, 2018 / 10:38 AM / 7 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on renewed trade war fears

    * Philippine shares lose the most in SE Asia
    * Vietnamese, Thai share close higher

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
declined on Wednesday on fears of a global trade war after the
sudden dismissal of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and
news that Washington is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60
billion of Chinese imports. 
     Tillerson was seen as a moderate in President Donald
Trump's administration and his departure is seen as a sign of
potential worsening of tariffs.
    "The movement in regional markets is focused on the shakeup
in the Trump administration... the second concern is trade wars
after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and
aluminium," said Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at AB
    "This would pose some concern in terms of the global economy
in a broader sense."
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 slipped 0.4 percent, retreating from a
1-1/2-month high hit on Tuesday.     
    In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares fell the most,
with all sectors but one in red.
    JG Summit Holdings Inc dropped 4.5 percent and SM
Investments Corp fell 2.3 percent. These two weighed the
most on the benchmark stock index.   
    Indonesian shares were down 0.5 percent, dragged by
energy and consumer staples stocks. United Tractors Tbk PT
 weighed the most on the index, dropping 4.3 percent.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
lost 0.5 percent.
    Malaysian shares fell 0.4 percent, largely due to
losses in consumer staples and telecom stocks. 
    Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd ended 10.4 percent lower
after declining as much as 14.7 percent in its biggest intraday
percentage loss since December 2007. 
    Across the Johor Causeway, Singapore shares slipped
0.4 percent on broad-based losses. Financials weighed heavily on
the benchmark with United Overseas Bank Ltd losing 0.6
    "The story we see right now is a shift from emerging markets
back to the U.S., given the improved U.S. economy. That is the
gist of what is happening right now in equity markets," said AB
Capital's Azurin.
    Thai shares recovered from early falls to end 0.2
percent higher.
    Consumer discretionaries and staples supported the index.
Trading store chain operator Siam Makro Pcl gained
6.8 percent.
    Vietnam shares rose 0.4 percent, helped by financials
and utilities. Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of
Viet Nam ended 2.5 percent higher.

For Asian Companies click;  

  Market          Current    Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore       3539.41    3553.73         -0.40
  Bangkok         1813.4     1809.9          0.19
  Manila          8348.74    8419.57         -0.84
  Jakarta         6382.623   6412.846        -0.47
  Kuala Lumpur    1857.06    1864.03         -0.37
 Ho Chi Minh      1138.09    1133.31         0.42
  Change on year                             
  Market          Current    End 2017        Pct Move
  Singapore       3539.41    3402.92         4.01
  Bangkok         1813.4     1753.71         3.40
  Manila          8348.74    8558.42         -2.45
  Jakarta         6382.623   6355.654        0.42
  Kuala Lumpur    1857.06    1796.81         3.35
  Ho Chi Minh     1138.09    984.24          15.63
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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