​SE Asia Stocks-Philippines falls over 1 pct; Vietnam hits fresh 10-year closing high

Vietnam extended gains to a fresh 10-year closing high

A screen displaying market data is seen inside the Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila's Makati financial district February 21, 2012. Photo: Reuters

Philippine shares dropped over 1 percent on Thursday, underperforming other Southeast Asian stock markets, while Vietnam extended gains to a fresh 10-year closing high.

The Philippine Stock Exchange PSEI Index declined as much as 2 percent, its biggest since March 2017, before closing 1.2 percent lower.

"The weakness on Wall Street could have been a catalyst for a profit-taking from the global rally seen across most regions," said Fio De Jesus, an equity research analyst with RCBC Securities in Manila.

The three major U.S. stock indexes ended lower overnight after a choppy trading session as investors worried that China would slow U.S. government bond purchases and that U.S. President Donald Trump would end a key trade agreement.

Asian shares ex-Japan also dropped due to concerns about rising U.S. protectionism, while bonds rebounded after China's regulator said a report about Beijing slowing or halting of its U.S. bond buying was possibly wrong.

Losses were largely broad-based in the Philippines, with index heavyweight PLDT Inc ending 3.5 percent lower and real estate company Ayala Land closing down 2.9 percent.

"A lot of the proxy stocks that have big weighting on the index are seeing some profit-taking, although the fundamentals haven't really changed," De Jesus said.

Malaysian shares declined for a third straight session, dragged down by telecom and consumer stocks, even after data showed industrial production rose 5 percent in November from a year earlier. Axiata Group Bhd fell 0.9 percent, while Genting Bhd ended down 2.3 percent.

Vietnam shares rose for a fourth straight session, buoyed by financial and energy stocks. Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam climbed 1.4 percent.

The index has gained in 13 sessions out of 14.

Thai shares reversed their course and ended 0.4 percent higher, on the back of gains in energy stocks.

Indonesia edged up with financials accounting for more than half of the gains. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT closed 1.1 percent higher.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.3 percent.


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