SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss
BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing manufacturing output data. The Philippine composite index fell 1.6 percent to 7,477.44, its lowest since Jan. 23. Selling was broad-based, with falls in 24 out of 30 large-caps measured by the index. BDO Unibank Inc and JG Summit Holdings Inc both dropped more than 5 percent, and were the top percentage losers on the gauge. Philippine economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected due to weaker growth in industry and agriculture, the government said on Thursday. The Thai SET index was down 0.5 percent in light trading, with about 2 billion shares changing hands, just 27 percent of the full-day average over the past 30 days. Large-caps were among the actively traded, including PTT and Kasikornbank. Data showed the manufacturing output index fell 5.3 percent in April compared with an expected 2 percent fall in a Reuters poll, reflecting weakness in sectors such as hard drives and electrical appliances. The SET regained most its early lost ground at one point after Moody's said Thailand's ratings supported by the government's strong financial position. Thin trading volume is expected to keep the market volatile, strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said in a report. "The SET could go up and down by 10 points during trading hours due to low confidence... Investors are also looking out for the economic numbers for April, which will be announced tomorrow," they said. Malaysia's index, which closed at a more than four-month low on Wednesday, erased early losses and was a tad higher. Most other sharemarkets in Southeast Asia hovered in negative territory in line with weak sentiment in Asia amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise rates later this year. Indexes in Singapore and Indonesia, which faced selling pressure on Wednesday due to U.S. rate hike worries, both fell slightly, while Vietnam rebounded 1.2 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0445 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3416.25 3424.94 -0.25 Kuala Lumpur 1755.30 1755.05 +0.01 Bangkok 1493.30 1500.84 -0.50 Jakarta 5252.68 5253.39 -0.02 Manila 7477.44 7598.70 -1.60 Ho Chi Minh 573.08 566.48 +1.17 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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