SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as China data, Saudi attack dent sentiment

  • Markets
  • Monday, 16 Sep 2019

MOST Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday after dismal data from China, the region's biggest trading partner, signalled weakness for the broader Asian economy, while oil importers were affected following attacks on Saudi Arabia's crude facilities.

Oil prices jumped over 10% on fears of a supply glut as the attack would significantly cut global oil output, while investor sentiment also remained on edge as the incident risked increasing geopolitical tensions worldwide.

Confidence was dented after industrial output data from China showed that the slowdown in factory and consumer sectors had deepened in August. Industrial production grew at its weakest pace in 17-1/2 years for the month, hinting at increased frailty in an economy lashed by trade headwinds and soft domestic demand.

Analysts at Citibank see a case for additional caution as the attack on Saudi's facility could led to a "supply shock", given lingering fears of a potential U.S.recession.

Leading declines in the region, Indonesian stocks marked their worst session in over a month.

Indonesian oil importers dropped as investors scurried for safe-haven bets after the attacks. Chandra Asri Petrochemical shed 6.2%, while marine logistics company Transcoal pacific Tbk PT lost 4.1%. Top cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk PT saw its worst day in nearly 29 years, with peer Gudang Garam Tbk PT diving about 20% after the finance ministry announced a hike to minimum price of cigarettes by an average of 35%, while raising excise tax by 23% from 2020 onwards.

Trade-sensitive Singapore stocks dropped, with industrials denting the index. Shares of Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd slipped 0.9%, while Hutchison Port Holdings Trust declined 1.9%.

An index of Jakarta's forty-five most liquid stocks lost 1.1%.

The Philippine bourse dropped 0.6% amid broad-based losses. Shares of property developer Ayala Land Inc and conglomerate SM Prime Holdings declined 1.4% and 0.4%, respectively.

Bucking the sombre mood, Thai shares ticked up on the back of energy stocks as oil prices surged, while the Vietnam index advanced on financials. Thai oil and gas giant PTT PCL hit its highest in more than six weeks, while PTT Exploration and Production PCL scaled 3.3%. -Reuters
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