South East Asian stocks fall as Mideast tensions soar

Renewed tensions in the Middle East continued to roil stock markets worldwide today. Thai stocks had their biggest fall since December 16 this morning as with Kasikornbank and Airports of Thailand losing 3.6% and 1.7% respectively.

At 11.40 this morning the Stock Exchange of Thailand’s index was down 0.87%.

• Oil prices shot 2% higher and Brent Crude rose to over $70 a barrel after the US President Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions on Iraq and retaliate against Iran if it strikes back after the assassination of its top army commander.

• The Philippine stock market fell more than 1% as soaring oil prices stoked fears of inflationary pressure. The Philippines imports all of its oil. Other south east Asian markets were also in the red due to heightened Middle East tensions. Real estate firm SM Prime Holdings shed 1.3%, while lender BDO Unibank lost 1.1%.

• Malaysian shares shed 0.9% as banking and consumer stocks weighed. Malayan Banking fell 0.9% and Sime Darby Plantations 1.6%.

• Indonesian equities fell as much as 1.1%, their biggest intraday fall in over a month. Financials and consumer firms were the biggest drags, with Bank Central Asia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia losing 1% and 1.1%, while Unilever Indonesia shed 1.2%.

• Singapore heavyweights United Overseas Bank and Jardine Strategic Holdings were down 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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