Stocks: Cautious on China data; Philippines slides to over 11-month low

April 17, 2018 - 6:51 PM
A cargo ship is silhouetted as the sun sets along the coast of Manila bay in Metro Manila, Philippines January 27, 2017. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco, file)

Stock markets in southeast Asia were largely cautious on Tuesday as investors weighed up a mixed bag of economic data out of China while the Philippine index slumped to an over-11-month low.

China’s economy grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, official data showed, unchanged from the previous quarter. But separate data showed March industrial output missed expectations and first-quarter fixed-asset investment growth slowed, tempering equity market sentiment.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5 percent.

Philippine shares closed 1.9 percent lower, marking a third consecutive session of losses.

There has been strong selling in the Philippines since late February, said Fio Dejesus, an analyst at Manila-based RCBC Securities.

Although consolidation began last month, investors still seem bearish, he said, adding the index might pick up from the 7,500 level.

The index has fallen 9.8 percent so far this year.

Financials were among the biggest losers, with BDO Unibank Inc, SM Investments Corp and Bank of the Philippine Islands falling between 1.7 percent and 3.6

Indonesian shares were little changed as losses in financials outweighed gains in energy stocks.

Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT fell 2.2 percent, but losses on the index were capped by a 4.4 percent gain in United Tractors Tbk PT.

Singapore shares closed marginally higher. Top lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd climbed 1 percent to a near-four-week high, while DBS Group Holdings Ltd closed up 0.6 percent, hitting its highest in nearly five weeks.

Malaysian shares clocked their eighth winning session in nine, ending up 0.1 percent after hitting their highest in three and a half years earlier.

Gains from lender CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and telecom company DiGi.Com Bhd kept the index afloat.

Vietnam shares closed up 0.4 percent, while Thai shares fell 0.7 percent. — Editing by Sunil Nair

Change on the day
MarketCurrentPrevious closePct Move
Kuala Lumpur1880.491878.760.09
Ho Chi Minh1153.281148.490.42
Change on year
MarketCurrentEnd 2017Pct Move
Kuala Lumpur1880.491796.814.66
Ho Chi Minh1153.28984.2417.17