SINGAPORE, July 18 — Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued this morning, tracking tepid Asian shares and Wall Street overnight as the passage of a US healthcare bill grew doubtful, raising concerns over the rest of President Donald Trump’s ambitious economic agenda.
Asian shares stepped back from more than two-year highs this morning and the dollar extended losses, as two Republican senators opposed legislation to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, leaving it without enough votes to pass.
Overnight in the United States, stocks closed little changed in low volume as gains in utilities and consumer shares offset declines in healthcare, with the S&P health sector falling 0.3 per cent. In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares were up marginally.
“Financials and real estate stocks are driving the market today,” said Jeffrey Kucero, equity analyst at RCBC Securities.
“However, the pressure from PLDT is keeping the market subdued.” Property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc rose as much as 1.1 per cent, while consumer bank GT Capital Holdings hit a more than one-month high. PLDT fell as much as 2.1 per cent, its lowest in nearly two months.
It dropped 2.2 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.
“The slide of the PLDT ADR on Wall Street last night dims the outlook for the Philippine market today,” said RCBC Securities in a note. Singapore was little changed, with gains in financials and consumer staples offset by losses in telecommunication stocks.
DBS Group hit a more than 17-year high, while Singapore Telecommunications shed as much as 0.8 per cent.
Vietnam shares were up 0.2 per cent after earlier falling to their lowest in one week.
Indonesia slipped 0.3 per cent, as financials and consumer staples pulled the index down.
Bank Rakyat Indonesia posted its biggest intraday percentage loss in over one month, while Unilever Indonesia fell as much as 1.6 per cent.
An index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks fell 0.5 per cent. — Reuters