Asean markets fall on fears US-China trade talks falling apart

  • Business Premium
  • Wednesday, 08 May 2019

A Investment Management said despite the volatility in the markets and concerns over the trade wars,

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian stock markets tumbled on Wednesday tracking losses on the Wall Street, on worries global growth could be hit as the U.S.-China trade deal seen falling apart, while the additional U.S. tariff deadline on Chinese goods loomed large.

Financial markets were roiled earlier in the week, following Trump’s threat to levy an additional 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports come Friday, after Washington accused Beijing of backtracking from commitments made during trade negotiations.

Beijing said on Tuesday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Thursday and Friday for trade talks. 

Additional tariffs are set to take effect by the end of the week if a trade agreement is not reached by then.

Washington and Beijing not reaching a deal on time ”is what most investors fear... The time table is quite slim so if the U.S. go through with the tariffs, it will mostly affect the exporting countries,” said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst at AP Securities. 

Gold prices climbed 1.1 percent in safe-haven buying.

The Philippine benchmark was the top loser in the region, falling as much as 1.8 percent to an over 2-week low, ahead of the country’s first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, due May 9.

Cruz said the expected slowdown in Philippines’ first quarter GDP as well as uncertainty on the upcoming elections is in part keeping investors on the sidelines.

Singapore’s Straits Times index, being the most vulnerable to the U.S.-China trade conflict in the region as the two nations are its major export destinations, fell about a percent.

Southeast Asia’s largest lender DBS Group and United Overseas Bank each shed about 1 percent.

The Malaysian index fell about 0.7 percent with the healthcare sector and basic materials stocks driving losses.

Energy shipping company MISC Berhad fell 2.2 percent to its lowest since April 26, while Press Metal Aluminium Holdings fell 1.5 percent to its lowest since April 22. 

Indonesian shares slipped 0.5 percent, weighed by engineering and construction company Meta Epsi’s near 9 percent drop. - Reuters

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