SE Asia Stocks - Mostly edge up; Manila underperforms amid China growth woes
April 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged up on Wednesday, but Philippine shares underperformed the region falling to a near three-week low as investors awaited some strong cues after growth in China slowed to a six-year low in the first quarter. The Philippine stock index, which gained 1.7 percent last week to an all-time peak of 8,134.38 points, fell 1.9 percent to touch 7,859.60, its lowest since March 27, in early trade. Property shares Ayala Land and SM Prime Holdings dragged the overall index. Ayala was down 2.8 percent and SM lost 3.1 percent. "We went up a lot so quickly, so we are prone to a sell-off. We were the most susceptible to the massive sell-off," said Miguel Agarao, an investment analyst at Manila-based Wealth Securities Inc. Agarao said the broader index is trading at 20x the 2015 price-to-earnings ratio, which is relatively expensive compared with Southeast Asian peers, adding that the support level is at 7,800. Data earlier in the day showed growth in China's colossal economy did slow to a six-year low of 7 percent in the first quarter, but that was better than many feared after a woeful trade performance in March. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.3 percent. Singapore's Straits Time Index was up 0.2 percent, Malaysia was up 0.1 percent, and Vietnam gained 1 percent by 0757 GMT. Asian markets, however, stumbled on Wednesday as relief China had matched its own growth target was soured by poor readings on consumer demand and industrial activity, underlining the need for more policy action by Beijing. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0807 GMT Market Current Prevue Close Pct Move Singapore 3528.56 3521.08 +0.21 Kuala Lumpur 1840.71 1839.61 +0.06 Jakarta 5401.54 5419.12 -0.32 Manila 7906.46 8056.49 -1.86 Ho Chi Minh 564.50 558.67 +1.04 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in COLOMBO and Neil Jerome Morales in MANILA; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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