January 29, 2019 / 3:54 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Fall as Sino-U.S. relation strains ahead of trade talks

    * Sino-U.S. trade deal hangs in balance
    * Tech exporters under pressure after Nvidia warning 

    By Mensholong Lepcha
    Jan 29 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on
Tuesday after the United States charged China's Huawei with bank
fraud and for conspiring to steal trade secrets, denting hopes
of a trade deal days before talks between Washington and
Beijing.
    Broader Asian shares felt the heat of recent developments as
the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 slipped 0.5 percent.
    Investors nervously await resolution to U.S.-China trade
spat as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He visits Washington on Jan.
30-31 for a fresh round of talks.
    Prospects for a Sino-U.S. trade deal dimmed as the U.S.
Justice Department charged the world's biggest
telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
         and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou with
conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by doing business
with Tehran through a subsidiary it tried to hide.
    However, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Huawei
charges are "wholly separate" from the trade negotiations.

    "Having relented on the U.S. government shutdown, President
Donald Trump needs to show a win on trade at his State of the
Union address on 5 February," said DBS Group Research in a
client note.     
    "But this morning's indictments by the U.S. Department of
Justice against China's Huawei, its chief financial officer, and
two bank affiliates illustrate the risks attached to the
U.S.-China relationship," DBS added. 
    Singapore and Vietnam, both technology exporters, were also
under pressure after warnings from U.S. manufacturers
Caterpillar Inc and Nvidia Corp about softening
Chinese demand.
    Singapore shares fell as much as 0.7 percent, with a
bulk of losses coming from the technology sector, after Nvidia
Corp on Monday cut its fourth-quarter revenue estimate on weak
demand for its gaming chips in China and lower-than-expected
data centre sales. 
    Venture Corp slipped as much as 1.3 percent, while
Singapore Technologies Engineering lost as much as 1
percent.
    Vietnam shares were on track to snap four straight
days of gains, losing as much as 0.5 percent.
    Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp and Saigon Beer
Alcohol Beverage were the biggest drags, falling as
much as 1.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
    Thai shares slipped as much as 0.3 percent on
broad-based losses.
    Data on Tuesday showed the country's manufacturing
production index (MPI) in December rose 0.75 percent from a year
earlier, but missed analyst expectations
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0336 GMT 
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3181.09   3199.5          -0.58
 Bangkok                1623.52   1625.03         -0.09
 Manila                 8026.14   8053.92         -0.34
 Jakarta                6453.835  6458.712        -0.08
 Kuala Lumpur           1689.71   1697.5          -0.46
 Ho Chi Minh            907.83    912.18          -0.48
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3181.09   3068.76         3.66
 Bangkok                1623.52   1563.88         3.81
 Manila                 8026.14   7,466.02        7.50
 Jakarta                6453.835  6,194.50        4.19
 Kuala Lumpur           1689.71   1690.58         -0.05
 Ho Chi Minh            907.83    892.54          1.71
 
 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)
  
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