SE Asian stocks bruised by gloomy Chinese data

Published: January 02, 2019 13:01:54 | Updated: January 26, 2019 15:05:49

Southeast Asian stocks fell on Wednesday while Singaporean and Malaysian shares sank after disappointing economic data from China.

However, a rally in real estate stocks drove Philippine and Vietnamese equities higher, reports Reuters.

Other Asian markets also fell after a private survey showed that China's factory activity had contracted for the first time in 19 months in December as domestic and export orders continued to weaken.

The news is the latest in a slew of worrying economic data from Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner, reinforcing fears that China's economy is losing more steam amid a bitter trade war with the United States.

Singapore's benchmark index shed nearly 1.0 per cent as sentiment was further dampened by preliminary data which showed that the city-state's economy grew 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter from the third on an annualised basis, much slower than expectations.

Shares in industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd were off 1.7 per cent, while those in lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp dropped 1.6 per cent.

Malaysian equities also dropped sharply, with a 2.3 per cent slide each in Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and gas retailer Petronas Dagangan Bhd pulling the benchmark down 0.86 per cent.

Meanwhile, Philippine stocks, which suffered the steepest drop in the region during 2018, rose 0.19 per cent, paring gains from a 1.0 per cent surge in early trade.

Philippine heavyweight Ayala Land Inc gained 0.7 per cent after losing about 4.0 per cent over the two final weeks of 2018.

The real estate sector powered gains in Vietnamese shares, with Vingroup JSC rising 5.8 per cent and Vincom Retail JSC advancing 2.7 per cent.

Thai stocks also rose, with the energy and financial sectors underpinning gains rose 0.5 per cent.

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