May 23, 2018 / 4:45 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most slump; Malaysia extends losses amid economic uncertainty

    * Singapore falls over 1 pct to 5-week low
    * Malaysia down 1.6 pct, set for 3rd losing session
    * Indonesia only gainer in region, gains more than 1 pct

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    May 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
sharply on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald Trump tempered
optimism over trade talks between Washington and Beijing, with
Malaysia extending losses amid uncertainty over the size of debt
its previous government had left behind.
    Broader Asian stocks outside Japan were down
0.4 percent after Trump said he was not pleased with recent
U.S.-China trade talks, renewing uncertainty.
    "The on-and-off status of U.S.-China trade talks is
affecting sentiment. At some point, traders may just decide to
stay on the sidelines," said Liu Jinshu, director of research,
NRA Capital.
    Singapore shares slid as much as 1.1 percent to its
lowest in more than five weeks, with financials dragging the
index.
    Index heavyweight Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp
fell 1.5 percent, while DBS Group was down 1.2
percent.
    Bank stocks are trading lower as they are likely to have
some exposure to Hyflux Ltd's debt, said Liu Jinshu.
The water treatment company said on Tuesday that it filed for
reorganisation after lower electricity prices hurt its
finances.
    Singapore's annual headline inflation rate likely rose in
April from last month, a Reuters poll showed. The data is due
later in the day.
    Malaysia's main index fell for a third straight
session, down as much as 1.6 percent.  
    Telecom company Axiata Group shed over 10 percent
after reporting weak quarterly earnings.
    Malaysia's new finance minister said on Tuesday that the
previous government deceived the public and parliament over the
country's financial situation and state fund 1Malaysia
Development Bhd (1MDB).
    The comments come amid worries that the new government's
populist promises could undermine economic prospects at an
increasingly challenging time. 
    Foreign stock inflows into Malaysia for 2018 have been wiped
out, with the market posting net outflows to the tune of $21.2
million as of May 21, according to data from OCBC Bank.
    Malaysia's April annual inflation rate was slightly higher
than the 1.3 percent recorded in March, the slowest pace in
nearly two years, but was below the 1.6 percent forecast in a
Reuters poll.
    Meanwhile, Indonesian shares gained as much as 1.5
percent, with Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Mandiri
(Persero) both gaining more than 5 percent.


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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0438 GMT
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3506.51   3543.18         -1.03
 Bangkok            1757.4    1760.71         -0.19
 Manila             7580.71   7646.2          -0.86
 Jakarta            5832.904  5751.119        1.42
 Kuala Lumpur       1816.36   1845.03         -1.55
 Ho Chi Minh        969.25    985.91          -1.69
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3506.51   3402.92         3.04
 Bangkok            1757.4    1753.71         0.21
 Manila             7580.71   8558.42         -11.42
 Jakarta            5832.904  6355.654        -8.22
 Kuala Lumpur       1816.36   1796.81         1.09
 Ho Chi Minh        969.25    984.24          -1.52
 
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Additional reporting
by Binisha H. Ben; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
  
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