The Indonesian benchmark index closed at a near four-week low on Wednesday, dragged down by consumer cyclicals and financials, while Vietnam ended at its highest level in over a month as blue chips including Vinamilk rallied. The index of Indonesia’s 45 most liquid stocks lost 0.8 percent. Top loser Bumi Serpong Damai Tbk PT dropped 5.8 percent, while financial heavyweight Bank Central Asia Tbk PT fell 2.6 percent.
“It is now unlikely that the S&P would upgrade Indonesia to investment grade because of the political uncertainties,” said Harry Su, head of research at Jakarta-based Bahana Securities.
Indonesian officials have long been hoping for a ratings upgrade from Standard & Poor’s, which has kept Indonesian debts at junk status. Political unrest has ensued in Indonesia, after its outgoing Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was jailed last week on the grounds of insulting the Koran in the Muslim-majority country.
Vietnam shares ended higher as Vinamilk rallied after receiving approval to officially export its milk products to China, the company told Xinhua on Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/2qrdppx). Shares of the dairy company closed 2.4 percent higher.
Singapore closed at its lowest level in two weeks after data showed the city-state’s non-oil domestic exports unexpectedly dropped in April. Malaysian shares closed at a near one-week low, with utility stocks and financials weighing on the index.
Malaysian consumer prices rose 4.4 percent in April due to rising transport and food costs, government data showed. Philippine shares ended 0.5 percent higher with industrials and financials supporting the benchmark while traders awaited the country’s quarterly GDP data. Philippines saw more foreign buying in April after two months of outflows, data showed.