Indonesia led losses as most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday, as worries of a global growth slowdown continued to hamper investor sentiment, while Vietnam continued to rise for the fifth straight session.
Investors are also exercising caution amid trade talks between the U.S. and China with the tit-for-tat tariffs between the world’s two largest economic powers having already disrupted international trade and slowed the global economy since the trade war started several months ago.
“Slowing global growth is underway, evidenced by falling exports growth in trade-sensitive countries… An improved US-China relation may not provide an immediate boost to demand against the backdrop of peaking trade growth,” said Zhu Huani, an economist at Mizuho Bank said in a note.
The Indonesian benchmark dropped 0.7 percent, leading losses in the region, following the central bank’s decision to hold key rate on Thursday. But for the week, the index is set to snap two straight weeks of losses.
Indonesia’s central bank kept interest rates on hold on Thursday and said it was looking at ways to boost loan growth.
Financial and consumer stocks dragged the index with Telekom Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia falling 1 percent and 2 percent respectively.
Malaysian stocks fell 0.6 percent, ahead of the country’s January inflation data to be released later today. The index is, however, set to post its third consecutive weekly gain.
Malaysia’s consumer prices are expected to fall in January, the first decline in nearly a decade, amid a drop in domestic fuel prices, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
The central bank however, said last week that the country was not at risk of deflationary pressure. The index was dragged by losses in healthcare and telecom stocks, with IHH Healthcare Bhd and Maxis Bhd shedding as much as 1.7 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
OCBC missed market estimates with a 10 percent drop in quarterly profit, due to a weak performance in its insurance business.
Shares of OCBC dropped as much as 2.2 percent, while those of its peer United Overseas Bank Ltd dipped as much 2.2 percent.
The Vietnam index continued to surge for the fifth straight day and rose 0.4 percent, with gains concentrated in financial stocks. Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam rose 2.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Philippine stocks edged marginally higher.
Source: The Sun Daily