November 28, 2019 / 4:48 AM / 6 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Drop as Hong Kong tensions clog trade-deal sentiment

    * Hong Kong human rights bill could hamper trade talks
    * Indonesia set for sixth straight day of losses 
    * The Philippines falls most, down 0.7%

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Nov 28 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian markets fell on Thursday
as investors feared the U.S. government's decision to sign a
bill backing protesters in Hong Kong could thwart Beijing and
Washington from defusing their 16-month trade dispute.
    Mass protests for more democracy and autonomy have rocked
the former British colony for six months, with escalating
violence and fears that China will ratchet up its response to
end the unrest.
    China's Foreign Ministry said it will take "firm counter
measures" if the United States continues to interfere in Hong
Kong after Trump on Wednesday signed into law congressional
legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.  

    "All eyes will be on just what kind of responses China would
muster, and whether it would derail the trade negotiations,"
OCBC Treasury Research said in a note. 
    Some analysts, however, feel there is a low possibility of
Trump's move affecting trade talks as his signature was
    "Expect some belligerent noises from China about domestic
affairs interference today, but no concrete reprisals," Jeffrey
Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA said in a note. 
    Helping contain losses in the regional markets was positive
data from the United States, which showed that economic growth
picked up slightly in the third quarter rather than slowing down
as initially reported, while the number of claims for
unemployment benefits had dropped last week.
    The Philippine index, the top drag in the region,
retreated from previous session's gains, with food distributor
Universal Robina Corp skidding 2.2% and financial
services provider SM Investments Corp dropping 0.9%.
    The Singapore benchmark - which is highly vulnerable
to headlines related to the trade talks - marked their worst
session in a week, with index heavyweights Jardine Matheson
Holdings and United Overseas Bank shedding
0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. 
    Malaysian shares edged lower, dragged by financials.
    Malayan Banking Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd
each dropped 0.7%. 
    Indonesian equities were on track for a sixth
straight session of loss, with financials leading the decline.
    PT Bank Central Asia Tbk and PT Bank Mandiri
(Persero) Tbk each slipped up to 0.7%. 
    Vietnamese stocks shed 0.4%, with financials weighing
on the index. Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of
Vietnam (Vietcombank) slid 0.8%. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3205.09   3215.53         -0.32
 Bangkok                1605.23   1607.27         -0.13
 Manila                 7779.54   7836.89         -0.73
 Jakarta                6016.975  6023.039        -0.10
 Kuala Lumpur           1583.37   1587.18         -0.24
 Ho Chi Minh            974.58    978.17          -0.37
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3205.09   3068.76         4.44
 Bangkok                1605.23   1563.88         2.64
 Manila                 7779.54   7,466.02        4.20
 Jakarta                6016.975  6,194.50        -2.87
 Kuala Lumpur           1583.37   1690.58         -6.34
 Ho Chi Minh            974.58    892.54          9.19
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Sherry
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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