Southeast Asian stocks fall ahead of China-US trade talks

Published: May 03, 2018 10:48:51 | Updated: May 05, 2018 11:05:55

Southeast Asian stock markets slipped on Thursday as investor risk appetite diminished ahead of the much awaited China-US trade talks which are scheduled to begin later in the day.

A US delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will meet Chinese officials for talks on Thursday and Friday.

The most likely outcome is an agreement to keep talking, with US President Donald Trump maintaining his threat to press ahead with punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, trade experts say.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5 per cent, reports Reuters.

International pressure to avoid a trade war, and Beijing's restraint are perhaps a consolation; and in fact worst-case (broad-brush tariff) scenarios may be avoided, Mizuho Bank said in a note.

Singapore shares snapped four sessions of gains, retreating from a 10-1/2 year high, to fall 1.5 per cent.

Indonesian shares fell the most in over a week on broad-based losses. Telekomunikasi Indonesia was the biggest drag on the index, falling as much as 2.3 per cent, while lender Bank Mandiri dropped over 2.8 per cent.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks fell over 2.0 per cent.

Industrials and financials weighed on the Philippine index, with SM Investments Corp declining 3.8 per cent while Bank of the Philippine Islands fell 2.0 per cent.

The Vietnam index was down 2.0 per cent. Utilities and financials were the biggest losers, with Petrovietnam Gas and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam sliding 7.0 per cent each.

Malaysian shares were trading flat as gains in consumer stocks were wiped off by losses in financials.

CIMB Group Holdings fell as much as 2.0 per cent, while Nestle (Malaysia) was up 2.5 per cent.

Thai shares fell marginally due to losses in real estate and energy stocks.

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