January 3, 2017 / 6:02 AM / 7 months ago

CORRECTED-SE Asia Stocks-Most markets start new year on weak note

(Corrects closing numbers for Vietnam and Philippines in yearly
    By Susan Mathew
    Jan 3 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets began
2017 on a weaker footing on Tuesday, with Philippine shares
shedding about 1.5 percent, little supported by signs of solid
factory growth in China.
    A private business survey showed China's factory activity
picked up more than expected in December as demand accelerated,
with output reaching a near six-year high.
    Philippine stocks set off the new year on a weak note
as investors chose to book profits after last week's 4 percent
    "If the (U.S.) dollar continues to strengthen, I think the
Philippine market will continue to go down," said Mikey
Macainag, an analyst with SunSecurities Inc, Philippines.
    The dollar held firm on Tuesday as the prospect of rising
U.S. interest rates this year kept sentiment bullish, hurting
Philippine exporters. 
    A stronger dollar makes Philippine exports cheaper and hurts
companies with dollar-denominated debt. A weaker peso, on the
other hand, adds to inflationary pressures.   
    "There is profit taking also after the Christmas break."
    Financials and consumer cyclicals led the decline with SM
Prime Holdings and SM Investments Corp falling
3 percent each.
    Following suit were Malaysian and Indonesian 
stocks as data released earlier in the day showed that factory
activity contracted again in December. 
    Malaysia was 0.6 percent lower, pulled down by financial and
telecom stocks, while Indonesia fell as much as 0.9 percent,
dragged down by financial and consumer stocks.
    Bank Central Asia Tbk PT fell up to 1.7 percent,
while automotive business company Astra International Tbk PT
 declined as much as 2.7 percent in its biggest
percentage drop in more than a month.
    The ringgit was down 0.12 percent against the
dollar at 0155 GMT, while the rupaiah shed 0.09
    Vietnam stocks, on the other hand, rose 0.7 percent
as a slight dip in December PMI was overshadowed by new export
orders jumping to their highest since 2011.
    Singapore shares were down marginally amid strong
fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth and a grim outlook
for the city-state. 
    Thailand was closed for a special holiday.
    Among Southeast Asian markets, Thailand's main stock index
gained the most in 2016, at 20 percent, followed by Indonesia at
15.3 percent. The Thai index rose 20.4 percent in dollar terms
last year. 
    Malaysia was the biggest loser, shedding 3 percent in
ringgit terms and 7.21 percent in dollar terms.   
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market            Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore         2878.98       2880.76      -0.06
  Manila            6761.84       6840.64      -1.15
  Jakarta           5264.3        5296.711     -0.61
  Kuala Lumpur      1631.97       1641.73      -0.59
  Ho Chi Minh       669.46        664.87       0.69
  Change on year                               
  Market            Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore         2878.98       2880.76      -0.06
  Manila            6761.84       6840.64      -1.15
  Jakarta           5264.3        5296.711     -0.61
  Kuala Lumpur      1631.97       1641.73      -0.59
  Ho Chi Minh       669.46        664.87       0.69
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Benagluru; Additional reporting
by Geo Tharappel; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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