SE Asia Stocks - Indonesia falls 2 pct, others hit after China yuan devaluation
BANGKOK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday as China's yuan devaluation hit currencies in the region, with Indonesia's key index heading for the worst drop in more than two months and Singapore's benchmark coming off a more than one-week high. Jakarta's composite index was down 2 percent and was on course for its biggest single-day loss since early June as the rupiah fell to a low last seen during the Asian financial crisis 17 year earlier. "It is a net negative as we export more to China," said Harry Su, head of strategy and research at broker Bahana Securities in Jakarta. "This will exacerbate our current account deficit as well, causing the IDR to weaken. Only importers from China will benefit. Even then, most Indonesian importers pay in USD to Chinese companies," he said. Bangkok's SET index drifted into negative territory after modest early gains, with tourism-related shares such as Airports of Thailand and Minor International among the top large-cap losers. "Generally, it (the yuan devaluation) should be negative as Thailand loses exports competitiveness, and Chinese find travelling to Thailand expensive," said senior analyst Vikas Kawatra of SCB Securities. China devalued the yuan on Tuesday to support the economy, raising expectations its neighbours may weaken their currencies to prop up exports. Singapore's dollar, which closely tracks the yuan, hit a five-year low and other Southeast Asian currencies touched fresh multi-year lows. The city-state's Straits Times Index shed 0.8 percent after an early rise to the highest since Aug. 3. Its half-day trading volume was 1.7 times the full-day average over the past month as the market reopened after a four-day weekend. Shares of palm oil firms which have large exposure to China were among the top losers, with Wilmar International Ltd and Golden Agri Resources Ltd both lower about 4 percent. The Philippines' index rose 0.4 percent after data showed exports fell 3.3 percent in June, narrowing from May's 17.4 percent decline. Vietnam gained 0.6 percent, led by top insurer BaoViet Holdings. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0638 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3164.70 3196.66 -1.00 Kuala Lumpur 1639.67 1654.37 -0.89 Bangkok 1419.40 1420.13 -0.05 Jakarta 4653.84 4748.95 -2.00 Manila 7563.74 7534.35 +0.39 Ho Chi Minh 618.35 614.53 +0.62 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Jongwoo Cheon in Singapore; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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