February 28, 2018 / 10:21 AM / 17 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on U.S. rate hike worries, weak China factory data

    * Philippines down about 1.5 pct, biggest loser in region
    * Singapore extends fall into second session

    By Aditya Soni
    Feb 28 (Reuters) - Most South East Asian stock markets fell
on Wednesday as the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman's comments
brought back fears of faster interest rate hikes in the United
States, and weak manufacturing data from China and Japan revived
worries about global growth.
    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expressed optimism about the U.S.
economy on Tuesday and said recent data had strengthened his
confidence on inflation, prompting increased bets that the U.S.
central bank will squeeze in a fourth rate hike this year.

    Although Asian markets are quite sensitive to U.S. rate
increases, strong economic growth in the region is expected to
attract steady inflows, said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec
Equities Inc in Manila.
    Data released earlier on Wednesday showed growth in China's
manufacturing sector in February slipped to the weakest in over
1-1/2 years, resurrecting concerns of a sharper-than-expected
slowdown in the world's second biggest economy.
    China is one of the biggest trade partners of Southeast
Asian nations.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 sank 1.1 percent after Wall Street suffered on
Tuesday its biggest drop since a selloff three weeks ago.
    Philippines shares declined 1.4 percent, the most
among regional markets, with industrial and real estate stocks
leading the fall. 
    Conglomerate SM Investments Corp dropped 3.1
percent, while Ayala Land Inc dipped 3.3 percent.
    Singapore shares fell 0.6 percent, extending their
decline into a second session, dragged almost entirely by
    DBS Group Holdings, the city-state's biggest stock
by market capitalisation, fell 1.2 percent and accounted for
most of the decline, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd
 slipped 2 percent.
    Malaysian shares fell 0.8 percent with AMMB Holdings
Bhd shedding 8.8 percent after the company reported a
30 percent drop in quarterly net profit. 
    Thai shares were flat with energy and utilities
accounting for most of the decline. PTT PCL declined
1.1 percent, while Siam Cement PCL fell 0.8 percent. 
    Thailand's annual industrial output slightly beat
expectations as it rose for a third straight month in January,
helped by higher production of cars, petroleum and rubber
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3517.94   3540.39         -0.63
 Bangkok         1830.13   1830.39         -0.01
 Manila          8475.29   8592.38         -1.36
 Jakarta         6597.218  6598.926        -0.03
 Kuala Lumpur    1856.2    1871.46         -0.82
 Ho Chi Minh     1121.54   1119.61         0.17
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore       3517.94   3402.92         3.38
 Bangkok         1830.13   1753.71         4.36
 Manila          8475.29   8,558.42        -0.97
 Jakarta         6597.218  6,355.65        3.80
 Kuala Lumpur    1856.2    1796.81         3.31
 Ho Chi Minh     1121.54   984.24          13.95
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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