SE Asia Stocks-Singapore posts biggest monthly loss in over 3 years, Philippines sole gainer

By Shreya Mariam Job

* Indonesian stocks post biggest monthly loss in 14 months * Malaysia posts five day winning streak By Shreya Mariam Job May 31 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks posted their biggest monthly loss in more than three years in May, as the escalating Sino-U.S. trade war hampered investor sentiment, while an upgrade in credit rating pushed Indonesian shares higher on Friday. The FTSE Straits Times Index fell 0.8%, bringing its monthly loss to 8.3%, as slowing global growth concerns hit risk appetite. "Singapore is one of the most exposed countries to any slowdown in global trade. Our gross trade is 400% of the GDP," said Paul Chew, head of research at Singapore-based Phillip Securities Research. Financial stocks dragged the index, with DBS Group Holdings Ltd shedding 1.3%. Indonesian stocks jumped 1.7% to post its highest close since May 10. The index closed the week with a gain of 2.5%, but slipped 3.8% during the month, its lowest in 14 months. Ratings agency S&P raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to 'BBB', citing the country's strong economic growth prospects and supportive policy dynamics. The upgrade put S&P at par with the ratings awarded by two other major credit rating agencies, Fitch and Moody's Shares of Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk Pt and Astra International Tbk Pt rose 3.2% and 3.5%, respectively. In Philippines, last minute buying helped push the benchmark to its highest level since early-May. The index was the only one in the region that posted a monthly gain. Real estate and industrial stocks bolstered the index, with Ayala Land Inc firming 2.7%, while conglomerate SM Prime Holdings Inc rose 2.1%. Some analysts say Philippines stands to gain from trade war as firms looking to avoid hiked tariffs will look to establish units there. Malaysian stocks pared most of its gains during the session, but managed to maintain a five-day winning streak. However, the shares declined 0.2% for May. Shares of Sime Darby Plantation Bhd advanced 2.2% after posting its first quarter results, while state utility firm Tenaga Nasional Bhd gained 2.4%. Meanwhile, Thai stocks marginally, hurt by largely industrial stocks. For the month, the SET Index fell 3.4%. Thailand's April exports fell 2.9% from a year earlier, after falling 4.2% in March, while April imports dropped 0.4% from a year earlier. Utility and financial stocks dragged the Vietnam index 1% lower with Petrovietnam Gas JSC and Vietnam Dairy Products JSC declining 3.5% and 1.5%, respectively. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3117.76 3143 -0.80 Bangkok 1620.22 1621.57 -0.08 Manila 7970.02 7836.55 1.70 Jakarta 6209.117 6104.106 1.72 Kuala Lumpur 1650.76 1636.5 0.87 Ho Chi Minh 959.88 969.34 -0.98 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3117.76 3068.76 1.60 Bangkok 1620.22 1563.88 3.60 Manila 7970.02 7,466.02 6.75 Jakarta 6209.117 6,194.50 0.24 Kuala Lumpur 1650.76 1690.58 -2.36 Ho Chi Minh 959.88 892.54 7.54 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)