Southeast Asian shares gained little in dull year-end trading on Friday and stared at double-digit yearly declines in a tumultuous 2018, Singaporean shares jumped.
Stock indexes in Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand were set to shed roughly 10 per cent or more in a year dominated by headlines about a worsening trade war between the United States and China, the biggest trading partner in Southeast Asia, reports Reuters.
With a 2.3 per cent yearly decline, Indonesian stocks were the best performers in the region, even as the rupiah currency weakened nearly 7.0 per cent this year.
The Indonesian market was insulated to some degree against global trade tensions thanks to its high dependence on domestic consumption, said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia.
Stocks in broader Asia gained on Friday after Wall Street rebounded for a second day.
Barring Singapore and Malaysia, Southeast Asian markets were on their last trading day of the year.
Singaporean stocks extended Thursday's rally with a 0.7 per cent gain powered by financial and industrial stocks, although trading volumes were largely subdued.
The city-state's final trading day of the year will see a shortened session on Monday.
Thai shares gained about 0.4 per cent, with energy and financial stocks in the lead. Oil and gas explorer PTT PCL jumped amid a recovery in oil prices, while Bangkok Bank PCL gained about 1.0 per cent.
The Thai index was set for an annual loss of around 11 per cent.
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