Asian stocks' valuations drop to three-month low in January: Refinitiv data

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(Reuters) – Asian equities’ valuations dropped to a three-month low at the end of January, as global investors accelerated selling risky assets on fears over the economic impact of a virus outbreak in China.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares’ () 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) fell to 13.72, compared with 14.19 at the end of last year, Refinitiv data showed.

By Tuesday’s close, the index had declined about 4.8% from its January high of 175.13. However, some analysts said Asian shares were still not attractive, given a slew of risk factors such as a slowing global economy, U.S. elections and potential for renewed trade tension.

(GRAPHIC: MSCI Asia and World index’s PE – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/1739/1713/MSCI%20Asia%20and%20World%20index%20PE.jpg)

Markets have clearly started pricing in the dynamics of lower growth, primarily in Asia, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said this week.

“EM asset valuation has cheapened during the drawdown, but not yet in over-sold territory,” it said.

In January, price valuations of Philippine, Indonesia and Malaysian shares fell sharply.

China, Hong Kong and South Korean shares were the cheapest in the region, with P/E multiples of 8.99, 10.36 and 10.98, respectively.

On the other hand, Indian shares were the most expensive, with a P/E ratio of 16.74 times.

“While history suggests markets will eventually rebound quickly, once the incidence of new cases subsides, the risk-reward seems to have deteriorated significantly,” Citibank said in a note.

(GRAPHIC: Valuations of Asian equities – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/1736/1710/Valuations%20of%20Asian%20equities.jpg)

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