* Deluge of negative political news hits sentiment
* Vietnam on track for 7-day losing streak
* Philippines top loser in the region
By Rashmi Ashok
Dec 21 (Reuters) - Shares across Southeast Asia tumbled on
Friday, tracking losses in other Asian equities as the threat of
a U.S. government shutdown added to a raft of negative
headlines, fanning investor concerns about the economic outlook.
Philippine and Vietnamese shares fell the most
in the region, with declines of 1.35 percent and 1.01 percent,
while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
shed 0.6 percent.
Just as investors digested the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan
to continue hiking interest rates in 2019, the prospect of a
government shutdown hit markets already weary from see-sawing
sentiment on U.S.-China trade relations.
In the latest blow to ties, the United States chastised
China for economic espionage, while a Reuters story revealed
that hackers working for the Chinese government breached the
networks of two prominent American tech companies.
"The U.S.-China geopolitical relations were expected to
improve last month, especially with the efforts to reach a trade
truce," said Fio Dejesus, an equity research analyst at RCBC
Securities in Manila. "We're seeing it heavily deteriorate
again, and this is the biggest factor for the fall (in
Philippine shares)," he said.
China is the biggest trading partner for Southeast Asia and
any news about escalating Sino-U.S. tensions have routinely
hammered stocks in the region.
Philippine shares were pressured by a roughly 1.8 percent
decline each in SM Investments Corp and Aboitiz Equity
Vietnam's benchmark headed for a seventh successive
session of losses as consumer stocks including Vietnam Dairy
Products JSC and food processing firm Masan Group Corp
Singaporean shares also edged lower, with marine port
services operator Hutchison Port Holdings Trust
falling 3.9 percent and diversified conglomerate Jardine
Matheson Holdings Ltd shedding 2.4 percent.
Financial shares pulled the Indonesian benchmark
lower. Shares of Bank Central Asia Tbk and Bank
Mandiri (Persero) Tbk fell 0.8 percent and 1 percent
Thai stocks edged lower, with energy stocks coming
under pressure. Oil and gas explorers PTT PCL and PTT
Exploration and Production PCL lost 0.5 percent and
0.4 percent, respectively.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0302 GMT
Change on the day
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3036.39 3050.62 -0.47
Bangkok 1588.33 1596.1 -0.49
Manila 7460.99 7563.41 -1.35
Jakarta 6128.832 6147.876 -0.31
Kuala Lumpur 1649.23 1650.56 -0.08
Ho Chi Minh 908.99 918.24 -1.01
Change on year
Market Current End prev yr Pct Move
Singapore 3036.39 3402.92 -10.77
Bangkok 1588.33 1753.71 -9.43
Manila 7460.99 8,558.42 -12.82
Jakarta 6128.832 6,355.65 -3.57
Kuala Lumpur 1649.23 1796.81 -8.21
Ho Chi Minh 908.99 984.24 -7.65
(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin