SE Asia stocks: Most fall; Singapore hits 1-1/2 year closing low

As investors await the next developments in the China-US trade spat, they moved in to pick up cheaper stocks. (AFP pic)

SINGAPORE: Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower on Tuesday, with Singapore hitting a one-and-a-half year low and Philippines extending losses to a fifth session amid fears of further escalation in the US-Sino trade war.

Singapore stocks fell 0.4%, marking their lowest close since late February 2017, with industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd and lender DBS Group Holdings shedding about 0.3% each.

The Philippine stock index fell 1% to 7,492.4, its lowest close since August 20 after data showed the country’s trade deficit widened in July.

JG Summit closed 4.8% lower while Ayala Corp slipped more than 2%.

“These are the after effects of higher-than-expected inflation and some concerns of contagion from emerging markets on the currency,” said Fio De Jesus, an analyst at Manila-based RCBC Securities.

The index has lost nearly 5% in the last five sessions after data released on Wednesday showed the country’s annual inflation rate for August was the highest in nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, escalating US-Sino trade tensions also weighed on investor sentiment, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extending its decline to an eighth session.

Thai shares ended 1.1% lower with gas supplier PTT Public Co and Airports of Thailand falling about 3% each.

The Vietnamese index rose for a third straight session and ended 1.5% higher. Insurance provider Baoviet Holdings jumped 6.9%.

Indonesia and Malaysia were closed for local holidays.