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SE Asia Stocks-Philippines falls 2%, most others subdued as U.S.-China tensions flare

Pranav A K
·3 min read
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* Philippine shares post second straight weekly fall * Oil prices helped lift Malaysia stocks * Vietnam shares dragged lower by financials By Pranav A K May 15 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks dropped 2% on Friday, leading losses in the Southeast Asian region, with most other markets ending subdued due to fears of worsening Sino-U.S. ties after U.S. President Donald Trump again blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak. Trump on Thursday signalled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the novel coronavirus, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and suggesting he could even cut ties with Beijing. Philippine stocks slipped nearly 2% to their lowest closing level since May 4 and recorded a second straight weekly fall. "Sino-U.S. Trade tension drove down the Philippine market today, and even continued improving oil prices did not help to neutralise the market movement," said Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp. A spike in coronavirus cases also dampened the sentiment. The country's health ministry reported 16 more coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 806 and recorded 215 additional infections, increasing the total tally to 12,091. Index heavyweights Aboitiz Equity skid 5.5%, while SM Prime Holdings dropped 5.2% after first-quarter profit fell. Shares in Indonesia, the region's largest economy, closed 0.1% lower and were down 3% for the week, the second straight weekly loss. Earlier in the day, data showed that the country slipped into trade deficit in April as exports and imports plunged. Meanwhile, a Reuters Poll showed that Indonesia's central bank is expected to deliver this year's third rate cut on Tuesday. An index of Jakarta's 45 most liquid stocks was 0.7% lower. Meanwhile, better-than-expected industrial output data from China, the region's biggest trade partner, helped offset some of the losses in the region. Thai shares were little changed as gains in energy stocks on higher oil prices were offset by renewed U.S-China trade tensions. Thailand will begin allowing department stores, shopping malls and other businesses to reopen from Sunday, the government said. The Mayalsian bourse gained 0.4% supported by a jump in oil prices. For the week, the index gained 1.5%. Vietnam's index reversed course to end 0.7% lower, pressured mostly by financials. The benchmark extended its weekly gain into a second session. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2523.55 2522.31 0.05 Bangkok 1280.76 1280.4 0.03 Manila 5541.95 5654.7 -1.99 Jakarta 4507.607 4513.834 -0.14 Kuala Lumpur 1403.44 1397.25 0.44 Ho Chi Minh 827.03 832.4 -0.65 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2523.55 3222.83 -21.70 Bangkok 1280.76 1579.84 -18.93 Manila 5541.95 7,815.26 -29.09 Jakarta 4507.607 6,299.54 -28.45 Kuala Lumpur 1403.44 1588.76 -11.66 Ho Chi Minh 827.03 960.99 -13.94 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)