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Author: Tan KW   |   Latest post: Sun, 16 Feb 2020, 8:57 PM


Asean markets subdued as weak US jobs data deepens global growth concerns

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BENGALURU: Southeast Asian stocks slipped on Monday, with Philippines losing most as weak U.S. employment data following last week's disappointing China trade data aggravated concerns about a slowdown in global growth.
Shares in the region fell after data showed that headline U.S. jobs growth stalled in February to register the smallest gain since September 2017, rattling investors who were still reeling from weak trade data posted by China on Friday.
Philippine stocks were the worst performers in the region, shedding over 1 percent as heavyweights like SM Investments Corp and BDO Unibank Inc came under pressure.     
"Investors are starting to become concerned about a significant economic slowdown over the next two years, and this will have an impact on risk assets like equities... the outlook is not very bright for some of the major economies, especially China," said Fio Dejesus, equity research analyst at RCBC Securities.
Top drags on the index among financials were Bank of the Philippine Islands, which fell 2.7 percent, and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, which shed 2 percent.
A weak economic data from China, which is Southeast Asia's largest trading partner, has hit sentiment and stoked worries in the region over an economic slowdown amid Beijing's damaging trade war with the United States.
Malaysian shares also shed nearly 1 percent to end at an over 2-month low, with glove manufacturers Hartalega Holdings Ltd and Top Glove Corp Ltd shedding about nearly 5 and 3 percent respectively.
Indonesian stocks edged lower, dragged by material and financial stocks such as paper manufacturer PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk and lender PT Bank Mega Tbk.
Singapore's index also inched down, with top percentage loser Singapore Exchange Ltd down about 3.7 percent. 
Investors await a slew of economic data this week, including trade figures from the Philippines and Malaysia amid a high-stakes Brexit vote in the UK parliament and Sino-U.S. trade negotiations.
- Reuters 
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