Thai shares slump for ninth straight day

Thai shares slump for ninth straight day

Thai shares fell for the ninth straight session on Monday. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Thai shares fell for the ninth straight session on Monday. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Most Southeast Asian markets weakened on Monday, as worries over poor economic data from China offset Wall Street cheer on strong US jobs data, while investors buckled in for a crucial week of trade negotiations.

Thai shares fell for a ninth straight session and hit their lowest level in nearly a year. "The ninth consecutive fall foreshadows continued weak domestic demand going into 2020, " economists at ING said in a note. Industrials were top losers, with Airports of Thailand losing as much as 3.7% to hit its lowest level in over two months. 

Chinese exports eased for the fourth straight month in November, implying that the 17-month long trade standoff with the United States was weighing on Southeast Asia's largest trading partner. However, data from the US showed that job growth increased the most in 10 months in November and the unemployment rate had ticked back down to its lowest level in nearly half a century. 

This week, focus turns to trade talks between the two biggest economies in the world as US President Donald Trump has to decide whether to hold off on a new set of tariffs on Chinese goods, which are set to kick in on Dec 15. "China's insistence for US tariff rollbacks remains a critical redline, " DBS Group Research wrote in a note. 

Malaysian stocks snapped two sessions of gains, with heavyweights such as power utility Tenaga Nasional and telecom Axiata Group dragging the index. 

The trade-sensitive Singapore index closed lower, weighed by losses in conglomerates Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings. 

Philippine shares dropped 0.3%. Conglomerates SM Investments Corp and Ayala Land lost 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively. 

Indonesian stocks inched up, with PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk adding 1% and 0.2%, respectively. Indonesia's banking regulator on Monday issued a decree requiring banks to keep a minimum leverage ratio of 3% starting Jan 1, 2020.

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