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SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia up on strong trade data, most others down

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia up on strong trade data, most others downSINGAPORE: Indonesian shares reacted positively to trade data released on Monday, while most other Southeast Asian markets closed lower in line with broader Asia but losses were capped as an escalation of US-led strikes over the weekend in Syria seemed unlikely.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6 percent as Chinese blue chips skidded 1.6 percent, ahead of China’s first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data expected on Tuesday.

“With trade war and now Syria fatigue likely to set in … it’s best not to get too comfortable at this point as market risk sentiment swings will remain large this week,” Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at Oanda, said in a note.

Investors are showing little appetite to chase riskier assets, he added.

On Saturday, the United States, France and Britain launched missiles targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma earlier in April.

Indonesian shares closed 0.3 percent higher after data showed Southeast Asia’s largest economy in March posted its biggest trade surplus in six months.

Indonesia’s finance minister said the country’s first quarter GDP was likely to be 5.2 percent, which would be an improvement on last year’s growth of 5.01 percent.

An index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.4 percent.

Malaysian shares climbed 0.6 percent to a two-and-a-half-month high, helped by gains in financial and telecom stocks.

Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd closed up 3.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, while Genting Malaysia Bhd soared 4.3 percent.

Singapore shares fell 0.1 percent as industrials and real estate stocks weighed on the index. Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd was the biggest drag, closing down 2 percent.

“There has been a shift in investor sentiment since late January. After two rounds of sell-offs in 2018, investors are cautious, added with news over the weekend of further geopolitical uncertainty,” said Jinshu Liu, director of research at NRA Capital Pte Ltd, Singapore.

Capitaland Ltd and City Developments Ltd fell 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, leading the losses among real estate stocks.

Philippines shares closed down 0.4 percent, as financials dragged the index lower.

Heavyweights PLDT Inc and SM Investments Corp fell 2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Thailand’s stock market was closed on Monday for a holiday.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

Source: Brecorder

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