SE Asia Stocks-Subdued on China growth concerns; US retail sales data awaited
By Justin George Varghese Aug 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Friday on concerns about a slowing Chinese economy and as investors awaited a raft of U.S. data, notably retail sales, for latest cues about the world's largest economy. China's industrial output and retail sales in July rose less than expected, while growth in fixed asset investment in the January-July period missed forecasts and slipped to the lowest year-to-date rate in more than 16 years. Chinese data suggests investors may take the opportunity to sell on shakier outlook, but there will be some bargain-hunting, said Mixo Das, a Southeast Asian equity strategist with Nomura, citing Wall Street's record highs overnight and gains in wider Asia. Investors will sift through U.S. retail sales data, due later in the day, for clues about whether the economy is robust enough to withstand further monetary tightening. U.S. retail sales are expected to show a 0.4 percent monthly increase in July, according to the median estimate of 64 economists polled by Reuters. Trading was also slow with many market participants in Japan on leave this week for the summer holidays. Singapore shares fell as much as 0.45 percent and were headed for their second straight session of declines, dragged down by financials and telecommunications. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd fell 1.2 percent, while Capitaland Mall Trust dropped 1.8 percent. Philippine stocks fell for a third consecutive session, with financial stocks Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co and SM Prime Holdings Inc among top losers. Meanwhile, Vietnam shares rose for a fifth consecutive session and hit a near four-week high, driven by consumer staples and utilities, while Malaysian stocks extended gains into a third straight session, led by energy stocks. Thailand was closed on Friday for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on 0428 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2863.92 2869.82 -0.21 Bangkok -- 1552.64 -- Manila 7956.38 7981.35 -0.31 Jakarta 5418.434 5419.088 -0.01 Kuala Lumpur 1682.5 1678.8 0.22 Ho Chi Minh 662.1 660.24 0.28 Change this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2863.92 2882.73 -0.65 Bangkok 1552.64 1288.02 20.54 Manila 7956.38 6952.08 14.45 Jakarta 5418.434 4593.008 17.97 Kuala Lumpur 1682.5 1692.51 -0.59 Ho Chi Minh 662.1 579.03 14.35 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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