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Southeast Asia stocks - Most fall on China growth slowdown; Philippines leads losses

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10/18/2019 | 06:07am EST
A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing

(Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Friday after weak growth readings from China, while Indonesian stocks extended gains to a sixth day boosted by strength in the financial and consumer sectors.

China, the region's largest trading partner, grew at its weakest pace in almost three decades in the third quarter, as the bruising trade war with the United States hit factory production.

While bleak data has raised prospects for further policy easing, analysts at OCBC said that a few positive factors, such as a truce in the trade war, a pickup in infrastructure investment and stabilization of the manufacturing sector may prompt China's central bank to adopt a wait and see stance.

In contrast to the disappointing 6% annual growth in GDP, China's industrial output grew a better-than-expected 5.8% in September, faster than the 17-year-low posted in August.

Philippine shares <.PSI> led declines in Southeast Asia, with utilities and financial firms among the biggest drags on Manila's benchmark index which managed to post a second consecutive weekly gain.

BDO Unibank and Manila Electric fell 2.6% and 2.3%, respectively.

Singapore stocks <.STI> slipped 0.4% to a one-week low, hurt by weakness in the consumer and financial sectors. United Overseas Bank and Singapore Airlines lost 0.8% and 1.4%, respectively.

Losses in the consumer and telecom sectors pushed Malaysia's benchmark index <.KLSE> 0.2% lower, with food processor IOI Corporation and mobile communication service provider Digi.Com Bhd shedding 3.4% and 1.1%, respectively.

Thai stocks edged lower. Industrial and financial stocks led declines on the benchmark index, with Kasikornbank Pcl and real estate developer Asset World Pcl Corp down 2.2% and 2.9% each.

Investor focus will now turn to the release of trade data next week. The trade-reliant economy's customs-cleared exports in September are likely to grow 1.2% from a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed, after falling 4% the previous month.

Bucking the regional trend, Indonesia stocks <.JKSE> rose 0.2%, with Bank Central Asia, adding 0.7% and auto manufacturer Astra International gaining 1.1%.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)

By Sameer Manekar

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BDO UNIBANK INC End-of-day quote.
DIGI.COM BERHAD 0.24% 4.18 End-of-day quote.0.24%
IOI CORPORATION BERHAD -0.70% 4.25 End-of-day quote.-0.70%
KASIKORNBANK PCL End-of-day quote.
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY End-of-day quote.
PT ASTRA INTERNATIONAL TBK -1.65% 5950 End-of-day quote.-2.46%
PT BANK CENTRAL ASIA TBK -2.02% 31450 End-of-day quote.-2.78%
SINGAPORE AIRLINES LIMITED -0.95% 8.32 End-of-day quote.-0.83%
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK LIMITED 0.56% 25.27 End-of-day quote.1.08%
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