November 26, 2019 / 10:26 AM / in 6 months

SE Asia Stocks-Most slip as U.S.-China trade talk uncertainty caps risk sentiment

    * Philippines closes at its lowest level in nearly seven
    * Singapore Oct industrial output rises, beats expectations
    * Indonesia posts fourth straight session of losses

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Nov 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
retreated from early gains on Tuesday amid worries that the
United States and China are unable to agree on tariff rollbacks,
despite signals that the two countries were close to an interim
trade deal.
    China's commerce ministry said on Tuesday the country's Vice
Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a telephonic talk on
issues related to a phase one trade agreement.
    While markets initially rose on the news, most indexes
traded lower at close as lack of concrete detail on the talks
spooked investors.
    "Market players should stay alert, especially when factoring
the unpredictable nature of the trade talks," wrote Lukman
Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at brokerage FXTM.
    "If the two largest economies in the world are unable to
find a middle ground before the December 15 deadline when U.S.
tariffs are set to increase by 15%, trade tensions may
    Singapore shares edged lower, amid diminishing hopes
of easing from the central bank after data showed that the
city-state's industrial production unexpectedly rose in October
and marked its biggest jump in nearly a year.     
    "We believe the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will
view upward growth momentum as sufficient reason to leave policy
on hold at its next review in April 2020," analysts at ING said
in a note.
    Conglomerates Jardine Matheson Holdings and
Jardine Strategic Holdings skidded 1.9% and 1.3%,
    Trade worries continued to hurt risk appetite, with the
Philippines index ending 0.8% lower to close at its
lowest level in nearly seven weeks.
    The benchmark was dragged by blue chips, with heavyweights
Ayala Land and Ayala Corp shedding 3% and 4.3%,
    Indonesian equities pulled back from early gains to
log a four-day losing streak, closing at their lowest level in
nearly seven weeks. Index heavyweight Telekomunikasi Indonesia
 dropped 2.3%.
    Thai stocks slipped 0.3%, with utilities and
industrials the biggest losers. Airports of Thailand Pcl
 lost 1.9%, while BGrimm Power Pcl fell 3.6%.

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3207.85   3220.63         -0.40
 Bangkok                1609.38   1614.8          -0.34
 Manila                 7707.8    7771.62         -0.82
 Jakarta                6026.188  6070.762        -0.73
 Kuala Lumpur           1583.87   1591.35         -0.47
 Ho Chi Minh            976.79    976.35          0.05
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3207.85   3068.76         4.53
 Bangkok                1609.38   1563.88         2.91
 Manila                 7707.8    7,466.02        3.24
 Jakarta                6026.188  6,194.50        -2.72
 Kuala Lumpur           1583.87   1690.58         -6.31
 Ho Chi Minh            976.79    892.54          9.44
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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