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SE Asia Stocks-Decline; worsening U.S-China trade spat unnerves investors​

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 11:08 GMT+7

Southeast Asian stock markets declined on Tuesday, with Thailand and Vietnam closing more than 2 percent lower, as escalating U.S.-China trade tensions led to a broad sell-off in regional equities.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that Washington would impose a further 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods after Beijing's retaliated to its earlier tariffs.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended nearly 4 percent down after hitting its lowest level since mid-2016 while the blue chip CSI300 index fell 3.5 percent. Key Wall Street index futures were trading more than 1 percent lower.

Vietnam shares closed 2.6 percent lower, after falling as much as 4.6 percent during the session, dragged by consumer staple and financial stocks. Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank lost 5 percent each while Vietnam Dairy Products JSC ended 3.7 percent lower.

Thai and Philippine shares declined ahead of policy meetings by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Bank of Thailand on Wednesday.

Financial and energy stocks weighed on the Thai index which saw its worst intraday fall since October 2016, with PTT PCL marking its lowest close since January.

Energy stocks that outperformed at the beginning of the year are now witnessing selling pressure, while investors are also trying to book profit ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting later this week, said Teerada Charnyingyong, an analyst at Phillip Capital Thailand.

Philippine shares fell for a fourth consecutive session. Index heavyweights SM Investments Corp, BDO Unibank Inc and JG Summit Holdings Inc ended between 2.2 percent and 3.7 percent lower.

Malaysian shares extended losses to a seventh straight session. Public Bank, Malayan Banking slid 2.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.    

Singapore shares erased gains to finish at an eight-month closing low. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and DBS Group Holdings closed lower and

Venture Corporation Ltd fell for a fourth consecutive session.

Indonesian financial markets are closed on Tuesday for Eid Al-Fitr.

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