February 11, 2019 / 4:18 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Thailand leads declines as most trade flat to lower

    * Thai shares drop as much as 0.9 pct
    * Vietnam hits over 7-week high
    * Singapore shares hit by China concerns

    By Ambar Warrick
    Feb 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks traded flat
to lower ahead of China and the United States resuming their
trade negotiations, with Thailand leading declines amid domestic
political turmoil.
    The Thai index fell 0.7 percent. The Thai King Maha
Vajiralongkorn on Friday moved to block his elder sister's
surprise bid to run for prime minister in March elections.
Thailand's Election Commission is set to rule on the nomination
later in the day.
    "The King effectively barred his sister, Princess Ubolratana
Rajakanya, from running for prime minister in an intervention
that will send shockwaves through the country and turmoil into
the forthcoming elections. We expect above-average volatility in
both the currency and stock markets today as the street digests
this news," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
    Losses in Thai equities were largely broad-based, with
energy and telecom stocks serving as the biggest drags. Energy
Absolute shed about 1.5 percent, while mobile services
provider Advanced Info Service dropped nearly 3
    Among other regional markets, Singapore shed about
0.6 percent as financial stocks weighed. Worries over the
Chinese economy have cast a shadow over Singapore's prospects,
owing to the island nation's large electronic exports to the
    Lender DBS Group shed about 0.7 percent, while 
United Overseas Bank lost 0.9 percent.
    A U.S. delegation is set to arrive in Beijing later in the
day to recommence talks, ahead of the March 1 deadline to reach
a trade deal. China is Southeast Asia's largest trading partner,
and its trade tiff with the U.S. has exacted a heavy toll on the
    Vietnam shares resumed trade after a week-long
holiday and rose more than 1 percent to their highest since
mid-December. Real estate and financial stocks led broad-based
gains, with property developer Vingroup gaining 3.2
percent, while Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of
Vietnam adding 1.4 percent. 

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 STOCK MARKETS                                
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3183.55   3202.04         -0.58
 Bangkok            1639.9    1651.68         -0.71
 Manila             8087.87   8070.89         0.21
 Jakarta            6523.463  6521.663        0.03
 Kuala Lumpur       1684.2    1686.52         -0.14
 Ho Chi Minh        919.29    908.67          1.17
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore          3183.55   3068.76         3.74
 Bangkok            1639.9    1563.88         4.86
 Manila             8087.87   7466.02         8.33
 Jakarta            6523.463  6194.498        5.31
 Kuala Lumpur       1684.2    1690.58         -0.38
 Ho Chi Minh        919.29    892.54          3.00
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay
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