SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia falls over 1 pct, Philippines bounces back
By Rushil Dutta May 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks closed lower on Friday, led by Malaysia which posted its slowest quarterly economic growth since 2009, while the Philippine index bounced back from the previous session's losses. 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 growth percent in the previous three months, as exports and domestic demand were weak. "The balance of risks in 2016 is skewed towards growth disappointment and fiscal slippage, with inflation pressures of second-order concern," ANZ stated in a note on Friday. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index closed down 1.26 percent, driven by basic materials. Investment bank CIMB Group was the biggest loser with a drop of 5.78 percent, while oilfield services provider Sapurakencana Petroleum Bhd finished about 3.1 percent down. "Structurally, lower oil prices mean that Malaysia will still be confronted with significant growth and fiscal headwinds, with residual concerns about 1MDB," adds ANZ. 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 the 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 closed up 1.53 percent led by industrials. Ayala Corp closed higher 5.28 percent, while Petron Corp finished 4.6 percent up. "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 includes tax reforms to accelerating infrastructure building to support services for farmers and attracting foreign investments by reducing crime, according to media reports. Indonesia fell 0.9 percent, dragged down by financials and materials, while Thailand's main index closed marginally down. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 2734.91 2745.39 -0.38 Bangkok 1394.69 1399.31 -0.33 Manila 7436.79 7325.04 1.53 Jakarta 4761.715 4803.322 -0.87 Kuala Lumpur 1628.26 1648.98 -1.26 Ho Chi Minh 610.82 612.12 -0.21 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2734.91 2882.73 -5.13 Bangkok 1394.69 1288.02 8.28 Manila 7436.79 6952.08 6.97 Jakarta 4761.715 4593.008 3.67 Kuala Lumpur 1628.26 1692.51 -3.80 Ho Chi Minh 610.82 579.03 5.49 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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