May 24, 2017 / 5:19 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tepid; China downgrade weighs on sentiment

    By Christina Martin
    May 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were
tepid on Wednesday after Moody's cut its sovereign credit rating
on China while investors awaited the minutes of the Federal
Reserve's last meeting for cues on its rate hike stance.
    Moody's Investors Services downgraded China's long-term
local and foreign currency issuer ratings, citing expectations
that the financial strength of the world's second-biggest
economy would erode over the coming years.
    "China plays a key role in Asia and regional markets are
reacting negatively to Moody's rating downgrade of China," said
Lexter Azurin, AVP - senior analyst at AB Capital.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 was down 0.3 percent, despite modest gains on
Wall Street overnight.
    "Regional markets are also awaiting the FOMC (Federal Open
Market Committee) minutes, which will give some signal and
confirmation with regards to the movement of the Fed in the next
few months."
    The minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting is scheduled
to be released at 1800 GMT later on Wednesday.
    Indonesia shares fell as much as 1 percent, heading
for a third straight session of decline, dragged down by
financials and consumer staples. 
    China's downgrade has hurt overall sentiment, said Elvira
Tjandrawinata, head of Indonesia equity research at Nomura
Securities, adding that: "It's also some profit-taking."
    Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT fell as
much as 2.6 percent, while Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT
dropped up to 2.9 percent.
    Philippine shares opened slightly lower before
reversing course on the back of gains in real estate and
consumer staple stocks. 
    Thai shares were little changed ahead of the central
bank's policy meeting scheduled later in the day. 
    The Bank of Thailand will likely keep its already-low
benchmark rate where it has been for more than two years as the
economy is slowly recovering and inflation is tame.
   Malaysia shares rose as much as 0.3 percent, boosted
by energy and consumer stocks.    
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market           Current    Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore        3225.75    3222.69         0.09
  Bangkok          1566.42    1564.69         0.11
  Manila           7816.74    7812.14         0.06
  Jakarta          5675.727   5730.613        -0.96
  Kuala Lumpur     1770.41    1767.17         0.18
  Ho Chi Minh      741.04     740.93          0.01
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current    End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore        3225.75    2880.76         11.98
  Bangkok          1566.42    1542.94         1.52
  Manila           7816.74    6840.64         14.27
  Jakarta          5675.727   5296.711        7.16
  Kuala Lumpur     1770.41    1641.73         7.84
  Ho Chi Minh      741.04     664.87          11.46
 (Reporting by Christina Martin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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