SE Asia Stocks-Worries of U.S.-China trade spat weigh heavily

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 * Philippine shares drop 1.9 pct, most in Southeast Asia * Vietnam rises for fourth session to 11-yr closing high By Aaron Saldanha March 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Thursday along with broader Asia as fears of a global trade
war intensified on reports U.S. President Donald Trump would
seek fresh tariffs on imports from China. On Wednesday, a White House spokeswoman said the Trump
administration is pressing China to cut its trade surplus with
the United States by $100 billion, without specifying how it
should be narrowed. The surplus-cutting goal may be met by increased purchases
of U.S. products such as soybeans or aircraft, or if China makes
major changes to its industrial policies, cuts subsidies to
state-owned enterprises or further reduces steel and aluminium
capacity. The tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports will
target the technology and telecommunications sectors, two people
who had discussed the issue with the Trump administration said
on Tuesday. The three major U.S. indexes declined by as much as 1
percent on Wednesday, while Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped more than 0.1 percent on Thursday as
investors moved to bonds. In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares fell 1.9 percent
to a more than three-month closing low, on broad-based losses. "Philippine markets continued their slump as Wall Street
posted sizable losses once more, with trade war concerns being
at the centre once again," said Luis Limlingan, managing
director of brokerage firm Regina Capital Development Corp in
Manila. "Much of the protectionist concern stemmed not only from the
actions taken so far, but the prospect of further action,
directed specifically at China (and potentially other parts of
emerging Asia)." The Sy family-controlled SM Investments Corp, SM
Prime Holdings Inc and BDO Unibank Inc were
the top drags. SM Investments fell 3.9 percent, SM Prime dropped
4.2 percent and BDO Unibank declined 3.1 percent. Malaysian shares fell 0.6 percent, weighed down by
telecom and financial stocks. Axiata Group Bhd lost
3.7 percent. Singapore dropped 0.6 percent, hurt by losses in
financials and industrials. Lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd slipped 1.8 percent. Indonesian shares declined 1 percent to their lowest
close since early January, on weakness in financial and telecom
stocks. Telekomunikasi Indonesia fell 3.2 percent,
weighing the most on the index. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
lost 1.2 percent. Thai shares closed higher in choppy trade, helped by
materials and financials. Trading store chain operator Siam
Makro Pcl gained 3.9 percent. Vietnam shares eked out meagre gains to end higher
for a fourth straight session. The index posted its highest
close in 11 years. Financials rose with Joint Stock Commercial Bank for
Investment and Development of Vietnam gaining 6.9
percent.
For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3517.73 3539.41 -0.61 Bangkok 1816.08 1813.4 0.15 Manila 8190.01 8348.74 -1.90 Jakarta 6321.904 6382.623 -0.95 Kuala Lumpur 1845.27 1857.06 -0.63 Ho Chi Minh 1138.76 1138.09 0.06 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3517.73 3402.92 3.37 Bangkok 1816.08 1753.71 3.56 Manila 8190.01 8558.42 -4.30 Jakarta 6321.904 6355.654 -0.53 Kuala Lumpur 1845.27 1796.81 2.70 Ho Chi Minh 1138.76 984.24 15.70 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru, Additional reporting
by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) 

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