March 9 - Analysts have continued to lift theirforward-12 month estimates for Asian companies, Refinitiv datashowed, thanks to a surge in commodity prices and anaccelerating growth in the region's exports and manufacturingoutput in February. Analysts upgraded forward 12-month profit estimates for theregion's firms by 0.6% over the past month, data from Refinitivshowed. They have raised their 2021 earnings forecasts by 2.3%since the start of this year. Vietnam and Australia saw biggest earnings upgrades of 4%each in the past month, bolstered by their strong economicgrowth in the fourth quarter last year. Vietnam appears likely to be a relative beneficiary of thepost-COVID-19 imperative for global supply chaindiversification, brokerage Jefferies said in a report. While soaring commodity prices pushed earnings expectationson Australian firms higher, surging demand for electronicproducts, with people staying at home helping the outlook forthe region's leading exporters such as Taiwan. Taiwanese firms saw their earnings expectations raised by2.5%, while Chinese companies witnessed upgrades of 0.2% in thepast month, with its exports growing at a record pace inFebruary. Meanwhile, analysts also lifted Indian firms' earningsgrowth as its economy returned to growth after two quarters ofcontraction. In Indonesia, Philippines and Hong Kong, companies witnessedsmall earnings downgrades in the past month, the data showed. "Hong Kong could see unfavourable earnings revisions oncontinued sluggish property market rental index and a furtherdecline in retail sales of 14% yoy," said Goldman Sachs in areport. REUTERS
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