Heavily affected by the low turnout in the Chinese manufacturing units, most Southeast Asian stocks eased today. According to experts with keen eyes on the Chinese economy, the latest survey on China’s manufacturing sector that showed that the world’s second largest economy is unable to match the historic double digit growth affected the regional market.
On the dismal trading day, Thai shares fell on continued political unrest as well. The country has been in political turmoil for a couple of months now and it has been impacting the local stock market to a great extent. The latest data show that activity in China’s factories shrank again in February.
Thus, a preliminary private survey showed today shows that hitting a seven-month low as employment fell at its fastest pace in five years, the local economy of China may not see the kind of growth it achieved in the last two decades. In fact, Morgan Stanley says that the China slowdown may affect commodity prices.
Also, other regional markets like Thailand and Malaysia were down today. Whereas Thailand’s SET index was down 1.1 percent by midday to a one-week low, shares in Jakarta fell 0.2 percent from a near four-months closing high hit in the previous session.
Nonetheless, major losers in Thailand were the two companies e.g. Advanced Info Services PCL which fell by 2.8 percent and top energy firm PTT PCL which lost 1.4 percent. Also, as investors have been cautious over Thailand’s risky assets, shares were expected to fall.
Additionally, as foreign investors have sold a net $930 million in the last 18 straight sessions through Wednesday, there was nothing that investors could have thought about the potential in the Thai market. Nonetheless, the major loser today was property developer SC Asset Corp.
Singapore and the Philippines moved up
This is the same company wherein Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s family owns a large stake. It fell 5 percent after protesters said they would target businesses linked to the family. Following the trend, Malaysia’s stock index was down 0.2 percent by midday.
However, there was not much impact of regional slow performance in the Singapore shares which hit a one-month high on positive economic growth data. On the other hand, Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index was 0.4 percent weaker. Also, bucking the regional trend, Philippine stocks rose 0.9 percent.
Thus, so far, the Philippines and Singapore are the two regional markets that are doing better today. Contrary to the sentiments, the stocks in the Philippines hit highest in a three-month.
To contact the reporter of this story: Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org