BENGALURU: Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday in line with broader Asian peers, with Indonesia taking the biggest hit as China's lower-than-expected export and import data for December stifled last week's optimism ensuing from Beijing and Washington progressing on trade talks.
Exports from China, which is the region's biggest trade partner, in December unexpectedly fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier — the biggest monthly drop in two years — compared to a Reuters poll of a 3 percent rise, pointing to further weakening in the world's second-largest economy.
Imports also unexpectedly contracted, falling 7.6 percent, the biggest decline since July 2016.
A note from Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal, economists at Asia ING, said China's trade data is in focus with investors looking out for signs of slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The risk sentiment was hampered following a week of gains,with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan staggering 0.7 percent lower after climbing to its highest level since early December on Friday.
The Indonesian benchmark index dropped 0.8 percent leading losses in the region with consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks dragging the index lower.
"Jakarta Composite Index is likely to trade in a mixed fashion today as concerns about the possible political turmoil in the Eurozone, U.S. government shutdown, China economic slowdown outweighs the optimism from Fed rate pause," Trimegah Sekuritas Indonesia said in a note.
Shares of Astra International Tbk PT fell as much as 2.7 percent, while those of Bank Central Asia Tbk PT slipped as much as 1.6 percent.
The country's index of 45 most liquid stocks fell 0.7 percent.
The Philippine index dropped 0.4 percent, with losses concentrated in real estate and financial stocks.
Benchmark heavyweight Ayala Land Inc's counter dropped as much as 3.7 percent, while that of SM Prime Holdings Inc dipped 1.5 percent.
Industrial and financial stocks dragged the Singapore benchmark lower, with shares of DBS Group Holdings Ltd shedding as much as 1.1 percent, while those of Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd fell 1.7 percent.
The Malaysian benchmark fell 0.4 percent, hurt by basic material and energy stocks, while finance and energy stocks drove the Thai index slightly lower. - Reuters