Southeast Asian stocks fall in lacklustre trading

Published: February 04, 2019 11:48:01 | Updated: February 06, 2019 12:45:45

File Photo (Collected)

Most Southeast Asian stocks slipped on Monday in a lacklustre trading, with Philippines leading losses, as optimism about a trade deal between the United States and China waned.

The Philippine benchmark index fell 0.6 per cent ahead of the country's inflation data, expected on Tuesday.

Industrials and financials dragged the index with SM Investments Corp and BDO Unibank Inc dipping 1.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.

Investors were skeptical about the actual progress made at the talks, especially with regard to core US demands for structural policy changes in China, reports Reuters.

Financials and consumer staples pulled the Indonesian index 0.3 per cent lower. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT lost 1.9 per cent, while Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT dropped 1.3 per cent.

Malaysian stocks led gains in the region, rising 0.4 per cent and were on track to snap four sessions of losses.

Utility and healthcare stocks underpinned the index with IHH Healthcare Bhd rising 1.4 per cent and Tenaga Nasional Bhd firming 1.7 per cent.

The Philippine central bank looks certain to leave interest rates on hold for a second straight meeting on Thursday, with inflation expected to have slowed to 4.5 per cent in January, according to a Reuters poll.

The central bank last week said January annual inflation is likely to settle within a 4.3-5.1 per cent range, which is ahead of the 2-4 per cent target of the bank.

Thai stocks rose 0.3 per cent, boosted by energy counters amid strong oil prices. 

PTT Exploration and Production PCL rose 1.2 per cent while CP All PCL firmed 0.7 per cent.

Malaysia and Singapore markets are to close early today ahead of a public holiday, while Vietnam's financial markets are shut for Lunar New year.

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