SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia plunges nearly 2% on tobacco stocks

By Anushka Trivedi

* Weak China data, oil rally weigh on SE Asia * Philippines reverses course to end higher * Malaysian markets closed for holiday By Anushka Trivedi Sept 16 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares slumped nearly 2% on Monday, dragged by tobacco stocks after the government announced a steep price hike, while most other Southeast Asian markets traded in a thin range as weak China data and a surge in oil prices stoked slowdown worries. The Indonesian government said late on Friday it would raise the minimum price of cigarettes across categories by an average of 35% from Jan. 1 next year and increase the excise tax on tobacco products by 23%, as part of its efforts to reduce smoking rates. Top cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk PT plunged over 18%, its sharpest in two decades, while Gudang Garam Tbk PT dived more than 20.5%, its biggest since 1994. The benchmark Jakarta stock index ended 1.8% lower, posting its lowest close in over one month and extending losses into a third session. A bigger-than-expected drop in August exports and sharp decline in imports also weighed on the market. Meanwhile, other Southeast Asian markets were subdued as fresh economic data out of China signalled increasing weakness in an economy lashed by trade headwinds and soft domestic demand. Industrial production grew at the weakest pace in 17-1/2 years, while retail sales growth came in below expectations. Crude oil prices surged as a drone attack on Saudi Arabia's key oil facilities fanned supply shortage concerns and chances of long-term geopolitical tensions amid a global economic slump. Singapore stocks, which are heavily exposed to the Chinese economy, fell 0.2%, dragged by financial and industrial sectors. Index heavyweights Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd and DBS Group Holdings Ltd shed 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. Philippine stocks reversed course to close slightly higher as investors made some market-on-close orders, said Rachel Cruz, a research analyst with AP Securities. "People at this point are tentative and would rather increase their exposure to defensive stocks," Cruz said. International Container Terminal Services Inc jumped 4.4%, while electricity retailer Aboitiz Power Corp rose 3.6%. Thai stocks ended largely flat, with state-run oil and gas giant PTT PCL rising 3.3% to an over six-week high. Malaysian equity markets were closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3203.93 3211.49 -0.24 Bangkok 1662.93 1661.96 0.06 Manila 7996.9 7992.32 0.06 Jakarta 6219.435 6334.843 -1.82 Ho Chi Minh 989.86 987.22 0.27 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3203.93 3068.76 4.40 Bangkok 1662.93 1563.88 6.33 Manila 7996.9 7,466.02 7.11 Jakarta 6219.435 6,194.50 0.40 Ho Chi Minh 989.86 892.54 10.90 (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)