SE Asia Stocks: Most lose ground, Vietnam dives to three-month low

By Reuters   October 25, 2018 | 12:42 am PT
SE Asia Stocks: Most lose ground, Vietnam dives to three-month low
A marble sculpture of a bull placed in front of the Hanoi Stock Exchange building in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/Pupanjan
Most Southeast Asian stock markets slumped on Thursday, following a tech rout on Wall Street that saw the year's gains being wiped out.

Disappointing forecasts from chipmakers beat down the tech sector, sending investors scurrying to the safety of sovereign bonds, pushing Wall Street to its worst single-day fall since 2011. 

A concoction of other negative factors like Saudi Arabia's diplomatic tensions, fears of slowing global growth and the Brexit stalemate spooked investors, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropping about 2 percent.

Vietnamese stocks dived as much as 4 percent to an over three-month low and were on track for a sixth straight day in the red.

Financial and real-estate stocks bore the brunt of the beating, with lender Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) losing 2.7 percent and conglomerate Vingroup JSC shedding 2.3 percent.

Philippine shares fell 2.3 percent, dragged by banking and industrial stocks, pushing the index's loss this week to 2.6 percent.

"About 45 minutes into trading, net foreign selling has already reached over 100 million pesos. After last night's bloody session on Wall Street, as expected foreigners are stepping up selling of Philippine shares, while local investors are staying on the sidelines," said Fio Dejesus, a research analyst at RCBC Securities.

Banking giant BDO Unibank Inc shed 3.6 percent and industrial conglomerate SM Investments Corp fell 2.7 percent. 

"It's a flight to safety, they're entering into lower risk assets like govt treasuries because the risk-off sentiment has hit emerging markets really hard," he added. 

Singapore stocks saw the same dismal sentiment, giving up the previous day's short-lived gains to take weekly losses to over 2 percent.

Casino and gaming operator Genting Singapore Ltd fell 3.3 percent and investor Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) Ltd lost 1.7 percent.

Malaysian shares followed the same trajectory, shedding 0.8 percent, on track to post their sixth straight session of losses.

Plantation and industrial heavyweight Sime Darby Berhad lost 5.9 percent and oil and gas services provider Dialog Group Berhad fell 3.9 percent.

After the previous session's sharp losses on energy stocks, the Thai index extended losses and were poised for a six-day run of losses.

All sectors traded in the red, with oil and gas refiner PTT PCL losing 1 percent and lender Siam Commercial Bank PCL lost 2.2 percent.

Indonesian shares appeared to escape the worst, trading slightly higher as gains in financial stocks offset losses in other sectors.

Lender PT Bank Central Asia Tbk gained 0.8 percent while sector heavyweight and auto truck manufacturer PT Astra International Tbk lost 0.3 percent.

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