SE Asia Stocks-Tumble as China devaluation hurts sentiment
JAKARTA, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks tumbled on Wednesday, with Indonesia hitting its lowest since February 2014, as China's move to extend yuan devaluation hurts other Asian currencies and hits sentiment toward stocks. The Indonesian stock index fell as much as 3.1 percent to nearly 18-month low after the rupiah hit its lowest since July 1998. "China's move to devalue yuan only confirms that the Chinese economy is doing poorly," said a trader in Jakarta. "The yuan devaluation now may not be much if we look back historically, but it badly hurts other currencies, which in turn hurts stocks." The sharp drop in the value of China's currency -- more than 4 percent in the last two days -- dealt a body blow to appetite for risky assets globally, with equities, currencies and commodities coming under selling pressure as money managers weighed the implications of China's latest policy move. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 percent to a two-year low. Meanwhile, Indonesia's president is expected to announce a much anticipated cabinet reshuffle later on Wednesday, but traders said investors may not respond immediately as they digest the new names. The Straits Times Index fell as much as 3 percent, led by banking stocks, as the Singapore dollar hit a more than five-year low against the U.S. dollar. DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Singapore's biggest bank, fell as much as 6.2 percent and was heading for its biggest one-day decline since March 2009. Malaysian stocks dropped 1.4 percent, while the Philippines index lost 0.7 percent. Thailand's stock market is closed for a public holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on 0330 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3072.74 3153.06 -2.55 Kuala Lumpur 1615.28 1636.71 -1.39 Bangkok -- 1420.13 -- Jakarta 4502.74 4622.59 -2.59 Manila 7514.47 7570.45 -0.74 Ho Chi Minh 608.43 613.05 -0.74 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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