May 3, 2019 / 10:52 AM / 21 days ago

Asian stock valuations surge to 14-month high in April

May 3 (Reuters) - Valuations of Asian equities reached a 14-month high at the end of April as regional shares rallied on optimism about Chinese economic data and the prospects for a U.S.-China trade deal.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 1.6 percent in April. According to Refinitiv, the region’s forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) was 13.2 times at the end of last month, the highest since February 2018.

Despite gains in April, the regional index was still trading at a discount to the MSCI All Country World index’s forward P/E of 15.2, suggesting Asian stocks were still cheaper than global peers.

At end-April, Indian and Malaysian stocks were the most expensive with price-to-earnings ratios of 17.2 and 15.6 respectively, according to Refinitiv. South Korea and China were the cheapest, with ratios of about 11 each.

Reporting by Patturaja Murugbaoopathy and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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