June 13, 2016 / 10:12 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Brexit fears, weak Chinese data pull markets down

By Anusha Ravindranath
    June 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks closed lower
on Monday, as risk appetite took a hit on concerns over
Britain's likely exit from the European Union and on
disappointing Chinese data, prompting investors to flock to safe
havens such as gold and the yen.
    The safe-haven yen strengthened across the board, hitting a
three-year high against both the euro and sterling, while gold
hit 4-week highs on Monday.  
    Investors were also wary ahead of meetings by the U.S.
Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and the
Bank of Japan later this week. 
    All are expected to hold monetary policy steady against a
backdrop of caution heightened by the global impact of a
possible Brexit. 
    Fears Britain is on the verge of voting to leave the
European Union next week spread through global financial
markets, sending Asian and European shares sharply lower and the
pound to an eight-week low. 
    "The cross-Atlantic equity bear markets have somehow
translated into wider Asia as well, and have dampened the
overall global risk appetite," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior
economist with Singapore-based Mizuho Bank Ltd, adding markets
will now focus on the number of Fed rate increases this year. 
    "Currently, it is about 2 more rate hikes for this year.
Whether or not it comes through will determine the risk appetite
going forward. For now, I think markets would be rather safe
than sorry."
    Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, an analyst with Religare Capital
Markets, however said weak Chinese data led Southeast Asian
shares lower.
    "I don't think it is linked to the Brexit, there is a
possibility that people are worried about Chinese situation
impinging on Southeast Asian growth, that slowdown in China will
affect Southeast Asia."
    Growth in China's fixed-asset investment slipped below 10
percent for the first time since 2000 in January-May as a boost
from record credit growth seems to be quickly fading, putting
expectations of further stimulus back on the table. 
    Singapore shares closed more than 1 percent lower, 
dragged down by energy stocks, as global oil prices fell on
    Keppel Corp fell 3.4 percent, while Sembcorp
Industries lost 1.7 percent.
    Vietnam closed down nearly 1 percent, while Thai
stocks fell half a percent.
    Malaysia and Indonesia also ended in
negative territory, while the Philippine index snapped
two days of losses to close up 0.6 pct.
For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2785.43       2822.97      -1.33
  Bangkok          1421.86       1429.21      -0.51
  Manila           7554.4        7509.94      +0.59
  Jakarta          4807.226      4848.056     -0.84
  Kuala Lumpur     1629.77       1641.22      -0.70
 Ho Chi Minh       623.58        629.84       -0.99
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End-2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2785.43       2882.73      -3.38
  Bangkok          1421.86       1288.02      10.39
  Manila           7554.4        6952.08      8.66
  Jakarta          4807.226      4593.008     4.66
  Kuala Lumpur     1629.77       1692.51      -3.71
 Ho Chi Minh       623.58        579.03       7.69

 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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