JAKARTA: Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday, tracking U.S. equities, as lack of details on President Donald Trump's economic policies pushed investors away from riskier assets.
Asian shares also eased as economic and political fears sent investors seeking shelter in the yen, while forecasts China's foreign exchange reserves have fallen for a seventh month added to jitters.
"The policies of the Trump administration and what he's planning to do with them are still unclear. The dollar index rallied last night, but I think we're also following U.S. markets which went down last night," said Mikey Macanaig, an analyst with Sunsecurities Inc.
"Then again, the protectionist stance of Trump might also affect the market."
Philippine shares fell as much as 0.7 percent, heading for their first decline in three sessions, and underperforming other regional markets with industrials driving the losses.
Both SM Investments Corp and Ayala Corp dropped over 2 percent and were the biggest drag.
The Philippine central bank is expected to keep its rates unchanged on Thursday at its first policy meeting of the year.
Malaysian shares slipped after three consecutive sessions of gains, hurt by industrials and materials. Sime Darby Bhd dropped 0.7 percent in its second straight session of falls.
Thai stocks were flat ahead of the central bank's policy meeting on Wednesday. The Bank of Thailand is expected to keep its one-day repurchase rate unchanged at 1.50 percent. Gains in financials and telecoms offset by losses in energy stocks.
Advanced Info Service Pcl rose 1.2 percent, while petroleum products distributor RPCG Pcl fell 1 percent. Singapore shares gained 0.5 percent with all the major sectors trading in the positive territory. Financials contributed the most to the gains with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd rising as much as 1.8 percent to its highest since August 2015.