SET index closes lowest in nearly 2 weeks

SET index closes lowest in nearly 2 weeks

Other SE Asia stocks also fall on trade war fears

The SET index plunges more than 1% on Monday, following the trend of other markets in Asia due to renewed fear of trade war. (Bangkok Post photo)
The SET index plunges more than 1% on Monday, following the trend of other markets in Asia due to renewed fear of trade war. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index and other Southeast Asian markets ended lower on Monday, tracking a broader Asian sell-off, as the United States and China slapped retaliatory tariffs on each other over the weekend in further escalation of a protracted trade war.

The SET index plunged 23.95 points or 1.45% to 1,622.73, in turnover of 64 billion baht.

The Thai stocks fell to its lowest close in nearly two weeks, hurt by losses in energy and financial sectors. Lender Kasikornbank Plc was down 1.6%, while PTT Plc lost 3.5%.

Though the US and China sought to ease trade war tensions on Monday, with Beijing calling for calm and US President Donald Trump predicting a deal, local markets seemed to shrug off the optimism.

Washington on Friday added an extra 5% duty on about $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, retorting the Chinese imposition of an extra 10% tariff on $75 billion worth of US goods earlier that day.

"Asia and Pacific markets, especially those with high beta to China growth and world trade, which is basically all of them, are facing possibly their worst single down day of the year today," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA said in a note to clients.

China is Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner. Quantifying risks related to the escalation of the trade war will be difficult, but exports and growth outlooks will be weakened further as recession risks grow, Mizuho bank said in a note to clients.

Industrial and financial stocksweighed on the Singapore benchmark index, as it closed at its lowest in almost eight months.

Lender DBS Group Holdings fell 1.2%, while conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings lost 2.5%.

The city-state's July industrial production dropped 0.4% year-on-year, but the fall was much narrower than broader forecasts. 

Production had contracted 8.1% in June, according to revised figures from the Singapore Economic Development Board. 

Malaysian shares snapped two consecutive sessions of gains to fall on Monday. The index was hurt most by heavyweights such as Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd, which lost 4.3% and 1.9%, respectively.

Indonesian stocks also fell to close at a near two-week low, dragged down by losses in the banking sector. Bank Mandiri (Persero) was down 1.7%, while Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) lost 1.6%. An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks was down 0.8%.

The Philippines index was closed for a public holiday.

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