September 20, 2019 / 4:26 AM / 9 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Edge lower; Philippines leads losses on foreign outflows

    * Philippines extends losses to a fourth session
    * Indonesian stocks pressured by financials, consumer
    * Thai shares flat after data shows decline in Aug exports 

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 20 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on
Friday, with the Philippine index leading losses as many foreign
investors pulled money out of emerging markets following a spike
in geopolitical tensions. 
    An attack on Saudi Arabia's key oil facilities last weekend
heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, as the
former blamed Tehran for the attacks and added that potential
retaliation measures would be implemented if needed.
    The attacks and subsequent exchange between both countries
have spurred a bout of volatility in the markets, with most
Southeast Asian equities heading for a weekly decline. 
    The Philippine bourse was set to end lower for a
fourth straight session. Financials dominated losses in the
benchmark, with heavyweight SM Prime Holdings Inc
shedding 1.3%.    
    "There is fear of further tensions in the Middle East and
that's why emerging markets such as the Philippines have been
suffering in terms of money outflows. So most of the funds are
going back into safe assets and that has been a big impact to
the performance of PSI," Rachel Cruz, research analyst, AP
    Indonesian stocks were little changed as gains were
capped by a decline in banking and consumer sectors.
    The country's central bank on Thursday slashed interest
rates for a third straight month, while also relaxing some
lending rules in a bid to stimulate Southeast Asia's biggest
economy marred by the prolonged U.S.-China trade tussle and a
slowdown in global demand.
    However, analysts at Citibank expect the measures to aid
only marginally, as a drop in revenue of commodity exporters
could lead to negative spill-overs to the domestic economy.
    "This will cast clouds on company capex plans in affected
sectors, as well as on banks' risk appetite for lending,"
analysts said.
    Lenders Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT and
Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT faltered over 1% each,
whereas poultry feed maker Charoen Pokphand Indonesia Tbk PT
 shaved off 2.4% from the index.
    Malaysian shares extended declines to a third
session, dented by consumer and telco sectors.
    A continued weakness in palm oil prices hurt stocks such as 
   Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, which dropped to a nearly
four-year low, while telecom services provider Maxis Bhd
 lost 1.8%.
    Thai shares were trading flat shortly after
government data showed the country's customs-cleared exports in
August had declined 4% year-over-year.
    Meanwhile, Singapore shares traded a tick higher.   

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3160.32   3158.8          0.05
 Bangkok                1636.2    1640.66         -0.27
 Manila                 7890.83   7911.32         -0.26
 Jakarta                6219.077  6244.47         -0.41
 Kuala Lumpur           1591.4    1596.28         -0.31
 Ho Chi Minh            996.29    997.1           -0.08
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3160.32   3068.76         2.98
 Bangkok                1636.2    1563.88         4.62
 Manila                 7890.83   7,466.02        5.69
 Jakarta                6219.077  6,194.50        0.40
 Kuala Lumpur           1591.4    1690.58         -5.87
 Ho Chi Minh            996.29    892.54          11.62
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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