April 17, 2019 / 3:59 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on upbeat China growth data; Malaysia falls

    * Malaysia drops to over 2-year low
    * Indonesian market closed for election
    * Thailand set to snap two sessions of losses

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    April 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Wednesday after China reported better-than-expected economic
growth, fuelling hopes of a recovery in its economy amid
concerns of a global growth slowdown. 
    China's economy grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter from a
year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday — steady from
the previous quarter — helped by sharply higher factory
    "While China may not be able to avert a slowdown amid global
demand downturn coinciding with the tech-cycle pullback, it is
not doomed for a slump; given domestic demand buffered by
coordinated monetary and fiscal easing," Vishnu Varathan, senior
economist at Mizuho Bank said in a note. 
    Singapore stocks led gains in the region, helped by
financial stocks and gains in counters of Keppel Corporation Ltd
    Shares of Keppel Corp rose as much as 3.2 percent to its
highest level since October 12, 2018. The company's units
received final approval for conversion of Gimi Floating
Liquefaction Vessel project, a contract worth $947 million.

    Separately, Singapore's on-year non-oil domestic exports
(NODX) growth fell more-than-expected in March, dented by a
plunge in electronic and pharmaceutical shipments, official data
showed on Wednesday.
    Thai stocks reopened after a two-day holiday to rise
0.3 percent, and was set to snap two sessions of losses, led by
consumer and healthcare stocks. 
    Financial stocks also boosted the Philippine benchmark index
 to rise 0.4 percent, with BDO Unibank Inc and
Ayala Corp rising 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent,
    Meanwhile, the Malaysian bourse fell 0.6 percent to
its lowest level in over two years. 
    FTSE Russell placed Malaysia's market accessibility level in
its World Government Bond Index under a review considering a
downgrade from the current level of 2 (highest level of
accessibility) to 1 at the end of the review period in
September. [bit.ly/2GkVnvP
    The downgrade may make the Malaysian local government
ineligible for the index that helps with exposure to wider
global investors. 
    The risk of possible outflows from the country, if it were
to be removed from the index, dampened investor sentiment. 
    Losses on the index were broad-based with state utility firm
Tenaga Nasional Bhd and top lender Malayan Banking Bhd
 being the top percentage losers.
    Indonesian stock market was closed on account of
Presidential elections. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3345.69  3332.04         0.41
 Bangkok                1665.86  1660.45         0.33
 Manila                 7855.56  7826.46         0.37
 Kuala Lumpur           1619.98  1629.46         -0.58
 Ho Chi Minh            976.96   977.17          -0.02
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3345.69  3068.76         9.02
 Bangkok                1665.86  1563.88         6.52
 Manila                 7855.56  7,466.02        5.22
 Kuala Lumpur           1619.98  1690.58         -4.18
 Ho Chi Minh            976.96   892.54          9.46
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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