Reuters: Most Southeast Asian stock markets retreated on Friday, as investors fled risky assets after China expressed doubts over signing a comprehensive trade deal with the United States, while Vietnam surged buoyed by gains in real estate shares.
A Bloomberg report on Thursday said that Chinese officials told visitors to Beijing that it will not budge on the thorniest issues and is concerned about the risk that US President Donald Trump could back out of the interim deal. For the market to slip further, it will require the recent disquiet from the Chinese on trade deals to broaden into something more unsettling, plus a further deterioration in the US economy, both of which seem eminently plausible, said ING Asia-Pacific Head of Research Robert Carnell.
Thai shares led the fall in the region, with telco and consumer sectors dominating losses on the benchmark. Shares of retailer CP ALL PCL fell 2.6% and telco Advanced Info Service PCL dropped 1.8%. Malaysian shares followed suit to slip 0.3% amid broad-based losses. However, the index added 1.5% for the week. Public Bank Bhd and state-run gas distributor Petronas Gas Bhd shed about 2.4% and 1.6%, respectively.
Indonesia's main index dipped 0.3% on weakness in consumer and telecom stocks. The benchmark shaved off 0.7% over the week. Heavyweight Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT slid for third straight session to close at a three-month low after reporting disappointing quarterly results on Wednesday.
Singapore's benchmark recovered some of its early losses to end the session flat, but added 1.3% for the week. Trade-sensitive industrial stocks were the hardest hit, with Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd. dropping 1.3%.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam bourse surged 1.7%, underpinned by real estate stocks. The index added almost 2% this week. Vietnam has emerged as one of the largest beneficiaries of the trade war between Beijing and Washington, as some businesses are shifting their supply chains away from China in order to avoid tariffs.