SE Asia Stocks - Malaysia near 3-week low; Thai property, bank shares up

viernes 6 de marzo de 2015 03:10 GYT

BANGKOK, March 6 (Reuters) - Malaysia's key stock index fell
to a near three-week low on Friday after worse-than-expected
exports data for January while Thai shares rebounded as
investors bought banks and property stocks before the central
bank's interst rate meeting next week.
    The Kuala Lumpur composite index traded down 0.13
percent at 1,803.76, the lowest level since Feb. 16, and taking
its loss on the week to almost 1 percent.
    Malaysia's exports slid 0.6 percent in January from a year
earlier, wrongfooting expectations for a rise. 
    Banking shares, among interest rate-sensitive stocks, were
little changed after the central bank kept its key interest rate
unchanged at 3.25 percent, as expected. 
    Shares of Public Bank edged up 0.1 percent and
CIMB Group Holdings gained 0.4 percent.
    Kuala Lumpur-based broker Affin Hwang Capital said it
expected the policy rate will be kept unchanged in 2015 and
maintained a 'neutral' rating on the Malaysian banking sector
thanks to a muted earnings outlook going into 2015.
    "We foresee continuous NIM pressure, further weakening in
loan growth, lacklustre capital market activities and concerns
of asset quality," it said in a report.
    Bangkok's SET index edged up 0.2 percent after
Thursday's drop to a six-week closing low, trimming its loss on
the week to 1.9 percent. Gains were led by property developer AP
Thailand and state run Krung Thai Bank.
    "Next week, the most important factor could be Thai MPC
decision on March 11, at which the committee may cut policy rate
to shore up domestic economy," broker KGI Securities said in a
    The Bank of Thailand said last week its benchmark one-day
repurchase rate of 2.0 percent is already low and
any rate cut may do little to encourage more borrowing for
economic activities.  
    Most others in the region traded higher with Singapore
, Indonesia and Vietnam set to end the
week with modest gains.
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 Change at 0642 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3418.49       3395.27       +0.68
 Kuala Lumpur       1803.76       1806.09       -0.13
 Bangkok            1556.80       1553.33       +0.22
 Jakarta            5485.09       5450.95       +0.63
 Manila             7843.67       7819.04       +0.31
 Ho Chi Minh         593.92        596.91       -0.50
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)