SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia down as Q1 GDP growth slows; Philippines up
By Rushil Dutta May 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks were lower on Friday, with Malaysia posting its biggest intraday percentage loss in more than five months as GDP grew at its slowest quarterly pace since 2009, while the Philippine index rallied after losses a day earlier. Malaysia's economy expanded 4.2 percent in January-March compared with a year earlier, broadly in line with expectations but down from the 4.5 percent in the previous three months, as exports and domestic demand were weak. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index fell 1.36 percent as of 0535 GMT, driven by basic materials. Petronas Chemicals, the biggest constituent in the basic materials sector, fell 4.19 percent. "The balance of risks in 2016 is skewed towards growth disappointment and fiscal slippage, with inflation pressures of second-order concern," ANZ said in a note on Friday. "Structurally lower oil prices means that Malaysia will still be confronted with significant growth and fiscal headwinds, with residual concerns about 1MDB." The troubled Malaysian state fund, which is at the centre of a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal, said last month it was in default after missing some bond payments. In Philippines, stocks rallied after the country's central bank left the benchmark interest rate flat at 4 percent, expecting economic growth to remain strong. The Philippine main index rose 2.43 pct led by industrials, after profit-taking on Thursday snapped two sessions of nearly 6 percent gains earlier in the week. Ayala Corp climbed 5.47 pct. "President-elect Rodrigo Duterte disclosed his eight-point economic agenda upon his transition yesterday which has been taken positively by the market," said Luz Lorenzo, a Maybank KimEng analyst. The wide-ranging economic agenda include tax reforms to accelerating infrastructure building to support services for farmers and attracting foreign investments by reducing crime, according to media reports. Indonesia fell 0.6 percent, dragged down by financials and materials. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2726.92 2745.39 -0.67 Bangkok 1399.55 1399.31 0.02 Manila 7503.52 7325.04 2.44 Jakarta 4772.48 4803.322 -0.64 Kuala Lumpur 1626.53 1648.98 -1.36 Ho Chi Minh 609.29 612.12 -0.46 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2726.73 2882.73 -5.41 Bangkok 1399.55 1288.02 8.66 Manila 7503.01 6952.08 7.92 Jakarta 4772.48 4593.008 3.91 Kuala Lumpur 1626.53 1692.51 -3.90 Ho Chi Minh 609.29 579.03 5.23 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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