March 12, 2019 / 5:36 AM / 3 months ago

India, Malaysia stocks lead price valuations in Asia; South Korea, China lag

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

(Reuters) - Shares in India and Malaysia were the most expensive in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, Refinitiv data showed.

A sharp rally this year has lifted Asian stocks’ valuations, with the MSCI Asia-Pacific index’s forward 12-month P/E touching a four-month high of 12.24 at the end of last month.

While some optimism over trade talks between the United States and China helped sentiment, the higher price valuations (in terms of earnings multiples) were also due to a cut in forecasted earnings by analysts for the next 12 months.

Analysts have cut the MSCI Asia-Pacific companies’ 2019 earnings by 2.5 percent over the past two months due to worries over slowing global economic growth, Refinitiv data showed.

On the other hand, South Korea lagged the region with a forward 12-month P/E of 10.49, followed by China with a ratio of 11.5.

Reporting by Patturaja Murugbaoopathy and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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