May 23, 2018 / 10:21 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets fall; Malaysia slumps over 2 pct

    * Malaysia declines most in about 2-1/2 years
    * Singapore touches over 5-week closing low
    * Philippines extends fall into 6th session

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    May 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Wednesday, with Malaysia declining the most since January
2016, as risk appetite took a hit after U.S. President Donald
Trump tempered optimism over trade talks between the world's top
two economies.
    MSCI's Asian stocks outside Japan were down
0.8 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was not
pleased with recent trade talks with Beijing.
    "The on-and-off status of U.S.-China trade talks is
affecting sentiment. At some point, traders may just decide to
stay on the sidelines," said Liu Jinshu, director of research,
NRA Capital.
    Malaysian shares plunged 2.21 percent to their
lowest close since early January over worries about the size of
debt its previous government had left behind.
    Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Tuesday that the
previous government deceived the public and parliament over the
country's financial situation and state fund 1Malaysia
Development Bhd.
    This came amid worries that the new government's populist
promises could undermine the country's economic prospects at an
increasingly challenging time.
    Foreign stock inflows for 2018 have been wiped out, with the
market posting net outflows of $21.2 million as of May 21,
according to data from OCBC Bank.
    Telecom company Axiata Group slumped 12.6 percent 
on weak quarterly earnings, while CIMB Group Holdings
fell 6.5 percent.
    Singapore shares fell 1.3 percent to their lowest
close in more than five weeks. Index heavyweight Oversea-Chinese
Banking Corp declined 1.8 percent, while DBS Group
 dropped 1.5 percent.
    Banking stocks traded lower as they are likely to have some
exposure to Hyflux Ltd's debt, said Liu Jinshu.
    Water treatment company Hyflux said on Tuesday it filed for
reorganisation of its business after lower electricity prices
hurt its finances.
    The city-state's headline consumer price index rose lower
than expected in April from a year earlier.
    Philippine shares erased early gains to end 1.1
percent lower, extending falls into a sixth session. Property
operator SM Investments Corp closed 3.5 percent lower.
    Meanwhile, Indonesian shares rose 0.7 percent to
their highest close in a week. 
    Financials and consumer stocks were among the top gainers,
with Astra International and Bank Mandiri
rising 4 percent each.
    Vietnam shares fell 2 percent in intraday trading
before recovering to close 0.3 percent higher.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3496.27   3543.18         -1.32
 Bangkok            1753.6    1760.71         -0.40
 Manila             7560.47   7646.2          -1.12
 Jakarta            5792.001  5751.119        0.71
 Kuala Lumpur       1804.25   1845.03         -2.21
 Ho Chi Minh        988.94    985.91          0.31
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3496.27   3402.92         2.74
 Bangkok            1753.6    1753.71         -0.01
 Manila             7560.47   8558.42         -11.66
 Jakarta            5792.001  6355.654        -8.87
 Kuala Lumpur       1804.25   1796.81         0.41
 Ho Chi Minh        988.94    984.24          0.48
 
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Additional reporting
by Binisha H. Ben; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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