October 2, 2017 / 8:50 AM / 10 months ago

GRAPHIC-Japan, Thailand stocks post highest Asia gains in Sept

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Japanese and Thai shares posted the largest gains among Asia-Pacific equities in September, buoyed by confidence in economic conditions in the respective countries.

The Nikkei index surged 3.61 pct for the month to hit a 26-month closing high while Thailand’s SET index gained 3.53 pct to close at its highest in 24-years.

The Japanese yen fell 2.2 pct against the greenback in September, supporting shares of Japanese exporters and financials. Broader market sentiment was also boosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for a snap election on Oct. 22, a move geared to take advantage of his improved approval ratings.

Confidence in Thai equities strengthened on improving macroeconomic fundamentals with Thailand’s central bank keeping its key policy rate unchanged at it monthly meeting amid firmer confidence in the economy, despite calls for a cut to stem the baht’s gains.

Among Asia’s biggest losers in September were Taiwan stocks, which fell 1.9 pct, and Singapore, which declined 1.75 pct. Hong Kong, India and Malaysia stocks fell between 1 – 1.5 percent.

In dollar terms, India has posted the largest gains so far this year, followed by Hong Kong and South Korea. As of the end of September, the three markets are up 24.16 percent, 23.73 percent and 23.45 percent, respectively.

According to Thomson Reuters IBES estimates, Indian and New Zealand equities are the most valued in Asia Pacific, with price to current years EPS at 20.74 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively.

Asia-Pacific markets performance Sep 2017: reut.rs/2yRKwoA

Asia-Pacific markets performance 2017: reut.rs/2yQzyj5

Asia-Pacific equities valuations : reut.rs/2yRmWIq

Compiled by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Sam Holmes

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