SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down on China's growth concerns; Thai up
Sept 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets edged lower on Monday on concerns over sluggish economic growth in China as investors awaited data this week that could provide more evidence of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy. By 0743 GMT, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) was down 0.2 percent, Malaysia was down 0.2 percent, while the Philippines and Singapore were 0.1 percent weaker each. "Market was concerned by comments made by China's finance minister who said China's economy is slowing and they will not make any change in policy," said Muhamad Alfatih, an analyst with Samuel Sekuritas Indonesia in Jakarta. "In other words, their government is letting the slowdown continue, which will affect other economies, including Indonesia." China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei on Sunday said China will not dramatically alter its economic policy because of any one economic indicator, in remarks at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the G20 nations. His remarks came days after many economists lowered growth forecasts, having seen the latest set of weak data. Growth in China's large factory sector probably stalled in September, adding to worries the economy could be at risk of a sharper slowdown unless Beijing rolls out more stimulus measures, a Reuters poll showed on Monday, a day ahead of China's flash manufacturing PMI release. In Jakarta, analysts expect the correction to continue as the market awaits more clarity on the fuel price policy by president-elect Joko Widodo. Bucking the trend, Thailand's SET index and Vietnam's benchmark VN Index were up 0.4 percent each. Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl was down 0.3 percent after the company agreed to acquire a 20 percent stake in Brazilian offshore oil and gas concession BM-ES-23 from Royal Dutch Shell for an undisclosed sum. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0743 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3301.19 3305.05 -0.12 Kuala Lumpur 1846.60 1849.49 -0.16 Bangkok 1591.60 1584.91 +0.42 Jakarta 5219.53 5227.58 -0.15 Manila 7279.86 7287.29 -0.10 Ho Chi Minh 615.53 613.29 +0.37 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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