SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish on worries over China slowdown, Fed rate rise

jueves 26 de mayo de 2016 06:18 GYT
 

By Aparajita Saxena
    May 26 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were largely
sluggish on Thursday as worries over an imminent rate increase
by the U.S. Fed and signs of a slowdown in China hit sentiment,
but higher oil prices boosted energy shares across the board.
    Chinese stocks fell to 2-1/2 month lows before closing
slightly higher on growing worries that the economy was losing
steam. 
    Data on Wednesday showed profits at China's state-owned
firms fell 8.4 percent year-on-year in the first four months of
2016, while total debts of state-owned companies increased 18
percent. 
    Separately, Moody's ratings agency raised concerns over
China's growing debt overhang.
    "The markets are sluggish on uncertainties over the two
biggest economies of the world. There are still worries over the
Fed raising rates sooner-than-expected, while concerns over the
Chinese economy continue keeping the markets choppy," said Lee
Chung Cheng, director of research at JF Apex Securities Bhd in
Malaysia.
    Comments from Fed officials have hinted at an imminent rate
increase, with Dallas Fed chief Robert Kaplan saying on
Wednesday that Britain's June 23 vote on its European Union
membership would weigh on any decision at the Fed's June
meeting. 
    Philippines closed more than 1 percent lower, dragged
down by industrials. Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc
 fell 9.65 percent.
    "While JG Summit's private placement may have triggered some
selling pressure, the decline in Philippines is merely a healthy
market correction," Manny Cruz, an analyst at Manila-based
Asiasec Equity Inc, said.     
    Vietnam lost 1.2 percent, its worst percentage loss
in five weeks.
    Stocks in Singapore however closed marginally higher, helped
by rising oil prices that have climbed above $50 a barrel and
factory data showing industrial output grew at its fastest pace
in two years.  
    Keppel Corp, Sembcorp Marine and
Sembcorp Industries were among the top percentage
gainers on the index, while Singapore Telecommunications Ltd
 rose 1 percent.
    Malaysia was flat, while Indonesia and
Thailand rose slightly at the close of trade.
    Earlier, Asian shares struggled to gain traction, with 
Japanese stocks flat in thin, choppy trade and MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up
0.2 percent. 
       
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       previous     Pct Move
                                 close        
  Singapore        2773.31       2766.66      0.24
  Bangkok          1401.64       1397.63      0.29
  Manila           7376.38       7463.95      -1.17
  Jakarta          4784.565      4772.977     0.24
  Kuala Lumpur     1631.09       1630.96      0.01
  Ho Chi Minh      604.34        611.89       -1.23
                                              
 Change on year                               
  Market           Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2773.31       2882.73      -3.80
  Bangkok          1401.64       1288.02      8.82
  Manila           7376.38       6952.08      6.10
  Jakarta          4784.565      4593.008     4.17
  Kuala Lumpur     1631.09       1692.51      -3.63
  Ho Chi Minh      604.34        579.03       4.37
 

 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)