SE Asia Stocks-Tepid as Sino-U.S. trade thaw fails to lift sentiment
Thursday, September 12, 2019       13:09 WIB

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Thursday, with the Philippines leading declines, as a temporary relief in the unpredictable trade spat between
Washington and Beijing failed to impress investors.
The world's two largest economies granted concessions in their heated tariff dispute on Wednesday ahead of planned talks.
China exempted a basket of U.S. goods from its own tariffs, while U.S. President Donald Trump said he would delay a scheduled tariff hike by two weeks in October.
Bouts of optimism have unravelled very quickly due to the erratic and unpredictable nature of the U.S.-China trade negotiations, which "ensures a lingering air of caution over
global markets, even as risk assets are given another opportunity to make hay while the sun shines," Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM said in a note.
The Singapore benchmark index, among the most vulnerable to the trade dispute with China being the region's biggest trading partner, marked its worst session in over a
Leading losses, industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings dropped 3.2%, while Hongkong Land Holdings fell 2.7%.
The Philippine bourse ticked down 0.3% amid broad-based losses.
Recent market activity suggests a lack of foreign inflows in the emerging markets and so the trading has been sideways, and that "most investors in the Philippine market are worried that this trade deal (between the U.S. and China) will not happen any time soon," Rachel Cruz, a research analyst with AP Securities said.
Property developer Ayala Land Inc and heavyweight SM Investments Corp were among the top drags in the Philippine benchmark, shedding 1.8% and 1%, respectively.
Vietnam stocks recovered from the previous session's lacklustre trade, lifted by financial and real estate sectors.
Malaysian stocks edged up ahead of the central bank policy review, with Mizuho stating it sees a 60% probability of a 25 bps rate cut.
Petronas Chemicals Group, the top gainer in the index, gained over 5%, while hospitality services provider Genting Malaysia Bhd added 1.9%.
Meanwhile, the Thai and Indonesian indexes flitted between positive and negative territory.

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