Southeast Asia stocks fall amid global selloff

Southeast Asia stocks fall amid global selloff

An SGX sign is pictured at the Singapore Stock Exchange. Singapore shares closed more than 2% lower on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)
An SGX sign is pictured at the Singapore Stock Exchange. Singapore shares closed more than 2% lower on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)

Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday, with the Stock Exchange of Thailand dropping 0.54%, amid a global selloff provoked by the political crisis in Italy and renewed US-China trade war fears.

Investors fear that repeat elections in Italy, which could come as soon as July, may become a de-facto referendum on Italian membership of the currency bloc and the country's role in the European Union.

However, reports that two anti-establishment parties were again renewing efforts to form a government rather than force the country back to the polls, helped ease investor woes.

Meanwhile, China said it would safeguard its interests after Washington said it will release a list of some US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods that will be subject to a 25% tariff by June 15, unless Beijing addressed issues of theft of American intellectual property.

The SET main index eased 9.40 points or 0.54% to close at 1,725.14, in trade worth 77 billion baht.

Malaysian shares slumped 3.2% to their lowest close since December 2017, dragged by financials and trading services firms, while Indonesian stocks fell nearly 1%, snapping five straight sessions of gains.

Indonesia's central bank raised its key interest rate for the second time in two weeks, and flagged more possible hikes in an effort to boost the fragile rupiah and contain capital outflows.

The rate hike acted as a "very big relief" for foreign investors and might help revive risk appetite, said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas, adding that optimism had been baked in the cake and reflected over the past five sessions.

Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk Perusahaan Perseroan PT fell 2.4%, while Astra International Tbk PT shed 2.4%.

Singapore closed more than 2% lower, dragged by financials, while the Philippines declined 1.7%, extending falls into a fourth session. 

All markets except the Philippines and Vietnam were closed on Tuesday.

Southeast Asian stock markets





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