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​SE Asia Stocks-Most markets fall on strong dollar; Vietnam down 2.9 pct

Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 10:29 GMT+7

Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday, with Vietnam shedding 2.9 percent, as a strong dollar crimped demand for emerging-market assets.

The dollar hovered near a five-month high against a basket of currencies, boosted by easing U.S.-China trade tensions.

"As with the running trend over the past weeks, investors found themselves leaning towards DM (developed-market) assets more so than their EM (emerging-market) counterparts," OCBC Treasury Research said in a note.

Malaysian shares fell 0.5 percent with Telekom Malaysia closing more than 11 percent lower on weak quarterly earnings, while electricity producer and distributor Tenaga Nasional dropped 2 percent.

Thai shares declined 0.4 percent, dragged by energy stocks. Gas supplier PTT PCL was the biggest drag with a fall of 2.6 percent. 

Philippine stocks extended their fall into a fifth session and closed 0.2 percent lower, while Singapore shares erased early gains to end marginally lower.

The city-state's annual headline inflation rate likely rose in April from last month, a Reuters poll showed. The data is expected on Wednesday.

Vietnam shares fell 3.8 percent in intraday trading, the sharpest since Feb. 9, before recovering slightly to close near a five-month low.

Vietnam shares have shed over 16 percent in the second quarter of the year, after gaining 19.3 percent in the first three months.

Indonesian shares snapped three straight sessions of decline and closed 0.3 percent higher.

Automotive distributor Astra International ended 6.5 percent higher, while Bank Central Asia rose 1.6 percent.

"The investment landscape for Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, has been very weak, evident by the depreciating local currency," said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

However, the positive news flow from U.S.-China trade tensions, served as a catalyst for (Indonesian) equity markets, and is what the market needed most at this point of time, Shim added.

China and the United States stepped back from the brink of a global trade war and agreed to hold further talks.

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