* Tillerson's departure adds to protectionism fears
* Trump seeks to impose tariffs against China - reports
* Vietnam only gainer in S.E. Asia region
By Aaron Saldanha
March 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
slipped on Wednesday as the sacking of U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson and increased fears of a global trade war rattled
Tillerson was seen as a moderate influence in U.S. President
Donald Trump's administration and his departure is seen as a
sign of potential worsening of tariffs. Adding to the worries,
reports said Trump is seeking to impose hefty tariffs on Chinese
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7 percent,
the S&P 500 lost 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 1.02 percent on Tuesday.
"The movement in regional markets is focused on the shakeup
in the Trump administration ... the second concern is the trade
wars after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and
aluminium," said Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at AB
"This would pose some concern in terms of the global economy
in a broader sense."
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stumbled
0.7 percent, retreating from a 1-1/2 month high the index hit on
Among Southeast Asian markets, Philippine shares were
the worst hit, with all sectors contributing to a 1.4 percent
drop in the main index. SM Investments Corp fell as much
as 2.3 percent.
Malaysia dropped 0.4 percent, largely due to losses
in industrial and telecom stocks. Energy shipping solutions
provider MISC Bhd fell as much as 3.4 percent.
Singapore shares lost 0.6 percent, hurt by
broad-based losses. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd
was 0.8 percent lower.
The Indonesian benchmark was 0.5 percent lower,
weighed by consumer discretionary and telecom stocks.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia weighed the most on the
index, dropping 1 percent.
An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
fell 0.7 percent.
"The story we see right now is a shift from emerging markets
back to the U.S., given the improved U.S. economy. That is a
gist of what is happening right now in equity markets," said AB
Thai shares were also lower as energy and financial
sectors draged on the index. PTT PCL fell as much as
1.1 percent, making it the biggest drag on the index.
Vietnam was the outlier, with the benchmark rising
0.4 percent as financial and real estate stocks traded higher.
Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam
was up 2.4 percent.
For Asian Companies click;
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0335 GMT
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3533.57 3553.73 -0.57
Bangkok 1808.14 1809.9 -0.10
Manila 8305.03 8419.57 -1.36
Jakarta 6381.019 6412.846 -0.50
Kuala Lumpur 1856.65 1864.03 -0.40
Ho Chi Minh 1137.87 1133.31 0.40
Change on year
Market Current End 2017 Pct Move
Singapore 3533.57 3402.92 3.84
Bangkok 1808.14 1753.71 3.10
Manila 8305.03 8558.42 -2.96
Jakarta 6381.019 6355.654 0.40
Kuala Lumpur 1856.65 1796.81 3.33
Ho Chi Minh 1137.87 984.24 15.61
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb