Southeast Asian stocks edge lower in cautious trade

Published: May 18, 2018 12:28:47 | Updated: May 21, 2018 11:57:44

File Photo (Reuters)

Most Southeast Asian stock markets slipped on Friday as investors kept a watchful eye on Sino-US trade negotiations.

US stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday as investors grappled with US-China trade tensions after US President Donald Trump said that China "has become very spoiled on trade".

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.1 per cent higher, reports Reuters.

Philippine stocks declined 0.5 per cent, hurt by industrials and financials, while Singapore shares were down for a fourth session in five with financials being the top losers.

Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.5 per cent after the central bank raised interest rates late on Thursday, in an attempt to curb capital outflows and support the rupiah which is wallowing at a more than 2-1/2-year low.

Rising oil prices and US bond yields amid the Federal Reserve's posited rate hike pace forced Bank Indonesia (BI) to raise the benchmark rate, by 25 basis points to 4.5 per cent, for the first time since November 2014.

Unilever Indonesia and Bank Mandiri were biggest boosts with a gain of 1.4 per cent each.

Malaysia shares climbed up to 0.4 per cent with consumer stock Genting Malaysia rising 2.9 per cent and Petronas Gas gaining 1.5 per cent.

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