South-East Asia stocks: Weaker on global economic outlook; M'sia suffers heavy outflow

March 12: Most Southeast Asian stocks ended weaker on Wednesday on concerns over sluggish economic growth in China and the US, with foreign investors exiting Malaysian shares. 

Philippines stock index fell 1%, after hitting a more than four-month high in the previous session, Singapore shares lost 1%, Thailand closed 0.6% down, Malaysia lost 0.5%, and Indonesia ended 0.4% weaker. 

Weak Chinese exports, which tumbled in February, added to fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, while US economic data gave no clear indication of whether the world's largest economy's troubles were merely weather-related or something more worrisome. 

Analysts in Bangkok said the expected interest rate cut by the central bank to spark growth in a sluggish economy helped to cap heavy losses. 

In terms of valuation, Thailand stocks are cheaper with a 12-month forward price-to-earning ratio at 12.6, lower than Philippines's 16.9, Malaysia's 15.3, Indonesia's 14.2, and Singapore's 13.7, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed. 

Andre Varian, a research analyst with Jakarta-based broker Ciptadana Securities said Indonesian stocks are still attractive due to promising economic growth coming from huge domestic consumption, demographic bonus, relatively sturdy economic fundamentals in the Asean region.

"However, we never deny that the global impact of such on-going recession in the euro area and slowing down economic growth in China still represent a prominent constraint to stifle our capital market growth," Varian said.

Kuala Lumpur suffered US$121.51 million net foreign outflow on Wednesday, while Jakarta and Bangkok witnesses a net outflow of US$11.53mil and US$6.97mil respectively on Wednesday.  Manila, however, saw an inflow of $7.63 million. 

Bucking the trend, Vietnam's benchmark VN Index closed up 0.3%, gaining for a sixth consecutive session,with property and energy stocks providing support, but greater selling erased earlier gains.   


 Change on day

 Market                   Current     Prev Close    Pct Move

 TR SE Asia Index*   401.09        404.57       -0.86

 Singapore             3097.43       3129.40       -1.02

 Kuala Lumpur       1818.60       1828.55       -0.54

 Bangkok               1356.42       1364.28       -0.58

 Jakarta                 4684.39       4704.21       -0.42

 Manila                  6462.47       6529.58       -1.03

 Ho Chi Minh            590.02        588.50       +0.26

 Change on year
 Market             Current       End 2013    Pct Move

 TR SE Asia Index*   401.09        388.37       +3.28

 Singapore             3097.43       3167.43       -2.21 

 Kuala Lumpu        1818.60       1866.96       -2.59

 Bangkok              1356.42       1298.71       +4.44

 Jakarta                4684.39       4274.18       +9.60

 Manila                 6462.47       5889.83       +9.72

 Ho Chi Minh          590.02        504.63      +16.92

* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

 Stock Market Volume (shares)

 Market             Current Volume    Average Volume 30 days

 Singapore            234,174,200          229,091,143      

 Kuala Lumpur       150,885,200          131,972,290      

 Bangkok                   5,342,090            5,645,279      

 Jakarta               5,066,424,800        3,529,934,283    

 Manila                           89,100               83,500    

 Ho Chi Minh                 177,884              136,322 - Reuters

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