SET index falls again, other SE Asia stocks rise on hopes of US tariff delay

SET index falls again, other SE Asia stocks rise on hopes of US tariff delay

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index dropped for a tenth session to 1,551.82 points on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index dropped for a tenth session to 1,551.82 points on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index fell for a tenth straight session, while most Southeast Asian markets rose on Wednesday on expectations of a delay in US tariffs on Chinese goods set to kick in this weekend.

Officials on both sides are laying the groundwork to push back a new round of US tariffs on Chinese imports set to come into effect on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Market players are positioned for a delay at the very least," Maybank said in a note.

The SET index closed 1.14 points or 0.07% lower to 1,551.82, in turnover of 49 billion baht.

Financials were the top losers, with Siam Commercial Bank Plc and Kasikornbank Plc posting losses. SCB slid 50 satag or 0.42% to 117.50, while KBANK plunged six baht or 4.05% to 142.

Continued uncertainties around US-China trade talks were taking a toll on Thai markets, said Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at Phillip Capital. "Everyone can see that Thailand's GDP growth is impacted a lot from the trade war and our export data has turned negative. That's the reason everyone continues to revise our GDP down."

The Bank of Thailand cut growth forecast for this year to 2.8% in September, and the Finance Ministry followed suit in October, in line with the growth predicted by a Reuters poll.

Leading gains in the region, the Philippine benchmark had its best session in more than a week, with blue chips SM Investments Corp and Ayala Land lifting the index.

The Singapore index, which is highly sensitive to developments on the trade war front, posted its biggest intraday percentage gain in nearly three weeks.

United Overseas Bank added 0.9%, while DBS Group Holdings rose 0.4%.

The Malaysian benchmark snapped two sessions of losses, with index heavyweights Malaysia Airports and AMMB Holdings gaining 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Vietnamese stocks ended a tick higher, underpinned by financials.


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