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Sumeet Gaikwad

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian units strengthen; yuan aided by regulator comments

19 Oct 2018

* Asian currencies generally follow yuan's lead * Yuan's strengthening was despite China growth slowdown * Ringgit slips; Malaysia cuts 2018 growth target (Adds details on yuan, rupiah and ringgit, updates prices) By Sumeet Gaikwad Oct 19 Most emerging Asian currencies rose on Friday, aided by profit-taking on the dollar and a slight strengthening of the yuan as Beijing pledged more policy support to mitigate risks from a trade row with the United States. The Chinese yuan traded hands at 6.934, marginally higher against the dollar, though still hovering around its weakest level since early 2017. Shares in China initially sputtered, then recovered after government statements bolstered market confidence as the country's third quarter economic growth slowed to its weakest pace since 2009. "The resultant stability of the RMB in the Asian session provided some form of anchor for regional currencies," said Fiona Lim, an FX analyst at Maybank. A Reuters poll showed short positions on most Asian currencies were seen unwinding over the past two weeks, with traders turning sceptical of the dollar's bull run. The Indian rupee strengthened 0.21 percent against the dollar and is on track to post a weekly gain against the dollar. The Singapore dollar strengthened 0.24 percent, while the Philippine peso gained 0.21 percent against the dollar. The Indonesian rupiah, among Asia's worst performing currencies this year, was marginally lower and on track for a fifth straight week of decline against the dollar. Indonesia is wrestling with a high current account deficit, which further widens as the currency weakens. "The rupiah is still in the weakening process due to global factors as well as domestic slowing," said a FX strategist from Indonesia. The Malaysian ringgit was off 0.07 percent, and was poised to post its fourth straight weekly decline versus the dollar. The Malaysian government on Thursday said the country will see wider fiscal deficits and slower economic growth than earlier forecast for this year and through 2020. CHINESE YUAN The yuan was on track for a weekly loss against the dollar and has weakened more than 6 percent this year and is close to the psychologically critical 7 per dollar level. The PBOC set Friday's official midpoint at 6.9387, the weakest level since Jan. 4, 2017. Thursday's midpoint was fixed at 6.9275. The currency is facing a double whammy of depreciation pressure amid rising China-U.S. trade tensions and signs of a slowing economy. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0600 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change at 0600 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 112.450 112.18 -0.24 Sing dlr 1.378 1.3816 +0.24 Taiwan dlr 30.915 30.975 +0.19 Korean won 1131.100 1135.2 +0.36 Baht 32.580 32.58 +0.00 Peso 53.850 53.965 +0.21 Rupiah 15200.000 15192 -0.05 Rupee 73.440 73.60 +0.21 Ringgit 4.158 4.155 -0.07 Yuan 6.934 6.9387 +0.07 Change so far in 2018 Currency Latest bid End 2017 Pct Move Japan yen 112.450 112.67 +0.20 Sing dlr 1.378 1.3373 -2.97 Taiwan dlr 30.915 29.848 -3.45 Korean won 1131.100 1070.50 -5.36 Baht 32.580 32.58 +0.00 Peso 53.850 49.93 -7.28 Rupiah 15200.000 13565 -10.76 Rupee 73.440 63.87 -13.03 Ringgit 4.158 4.0440 -2.74 Yuan 6.934 6.5069 -6.15 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Nikhil Nainan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slide on hawkish Fed minutes; yuan hits 21-month low

18 Oct 2018

* Fed minutes weigh on EM currencies * S.Korean won top loser * Investors await China GDP data (Adds details on won, yuan and rupiah, updates prices) By Sumeet Gaikwad Oct 18 Asian currencies slipped against the dollar on Thursday as hawkish Federal Reserve minutes reinforced expectations for more rate hikes, heightening concerns about the widening interest rate spread between the United States and emerging markets. South Korea's won led declines and the yuan weakened to levels last seen in January 2017. The minutes from the Fed's Sept. 25-26 meeting showed every Fed policymaker backed raising interest rates and also generally agreed borrowing costs were set to rise further, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's view that the tightening have already gone too far. Emerging economies have been playing catch-up with rising U.S. interest rates this year, deferring investments and slowing growth as dollar-denominated debts become harder to pay. "If this situation of rising long-end Treasury yields and a firmer dollar persists, emerging markets could find it hard to bear," Mizuho Bank said in a note. The South Korean won was the biggest loser in the region, falling 0.59 percent at 1,133.20 against the dollar. The Chinese yuan was off 0.19 percent at 6.936 against the dollar, its weakest in nearly two years. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set Thursday's official midpoint fix at 6.9275, its weakest since January 2017. A steep overnight drop in global oil prices cushioned the fall of the Indonesian rupiah, which declined 0.26 percent against the dollar. Meanwhile, the Japanese yen, largely considered a safe-haven currency, strengthened 0.12 percent. Indian financial markets were closed for a holiday. WON TAKES A BEATING South Korea's central bank kept monetary policy steady for a seventh straight month on Thursday, but flagged concerns about mounting household debt and financial stability, suggesting it could look at a rate hike as soon as November. However, while some saw the meeting as hawkish, the Bank of Korea's downgrade of its gross domestic product growth forecasts for this year amid trade war concerns and declining exports was of some concern. "It (central bank) is trying to balance both sides of risk as the economy has been improving but at the same time the outlook is still queasy because of trade war risk," said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at Bank of Singapore. A tit-for-tat trade war has left South Korea's export sector vulnerable, with shipments declining 8.2 percent in September from a year earlier, their biggest drop in over two years. YUAN WEAKENS The yuan has lost over 6 percent this year, and is poised to post a fifth straight session of declines as a strong dollar and China growth concerns hurt risk appetite. Investors awaited China gross domestic product data due on Friday for clues on the effects of the ongoing trade war on the wider economy. "If the PBOC is passive then there is a likelihood you could get a negative feedback loop in terms of market pushing the dollar stronger against Asian currencies," said Sim at Bank of Singapore. The U.S. government refrained from naming China or any other trading partner as a currency manipulator in the semi-annual FX report, as it leans on import tariffs to try to cut a trade deficit with China. A falling yuan will exacerbate the trade surplus China has with the U.S. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0526 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0526 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 112.500 112.64 +0.12 Sing dlr 1.378 1.3780 -0.02 Taiwan dlr 30.942 30.850 -0.30 Korean won 1133.200 1126.5 -0.59 Baht 32.590 32.51 -0.25 Peso 53.940 53.89 -0.09 Rupiah 15190.000 15150 -0.26 Ringgit 4.154 4.149 -0.12 Yuan 6.936 6.9235 -0.19 Change so far in 2018 Currency Latest bid End 2017 Pct Move Japan yen 112.500 112.67 +0.15 Sing dlr 1.378 1.3373 -2.97 Taiwan dlr 30.942 29.848 -3.54 Korean won 1133.200 1070.50 -5.53 Baht 32.590 32.58 -0.03 Peso 53.940 49.93 -7.43 Rupiah 15190.000 13565 -10.70 Ringgit 4.154 4.0440 -2.65 Yuan 6.936 6.5069 -6.19 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies firmer on improved sentiment, S.Korean won leads gains

16 Oct 2018

* Baht resumes trade on strong footing * S.Korean won up on North-South co-operation * Yuan hit by China growth concerns (Adds details on won, yuan and rupiah, updates prices) By Sumeet Gaikwad Oct 16 Asian currencies made slight advances against the dollar on Tuesday as global sentiment towards riskier assets improved following heavier losses over the past week and as investors awaited U.S. economic data for cues on greenback direction. The dollar dipped 0.2 percent overnight after data showed U.S. retail sales rose slower-than-expected at 0.1 percent in September. "There is not going be very clear dollar direction until we see a more noticeable rise in treasury yields or somewhat stronger U.S. data coming through to support the rise in the dollar," said Chang Wei Liang, an FX strategist at Mizuho Bank. Emerging market currencies have taken a hit recently amid worsening diplomatic tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of a Saudi reporter in Turkey. The disappearance earlier this month of the journalist, who was critical of Riyadh, has provoked an international outcry against the oil-rich kingdom, which has rattled its financial markets and currency. In Asia, the South Korean won was the biggest gainer after it agreed to begin reconnecting rail and road links with its neighbour in the north, boosting sentiment over stability in the region. The export-reliant economy often sees currency moves linked to its equity market. South Korean equities rose as much as 0.8 percent on Tuesday. The Thai baht resumed trade on a strong footing after a pubic holiday in Thailand, rising as much as 0.37 percent to the dollar. The Philippine peso was largely flat at 54.07 to the dollar. The government cut gross domestic product growth target for the year to 6.5-6.9 percent from 7-8 percent previously. The Philippine government also expects the peso/dollar rate to average 52.50-53.00 in 2018. The Chinese yuan softened 0.09 percent against the dollar after China's factory-gate inflation cooled for a third straight month in September. Strong global crude prices hurt the Indonesian rupiah , which weakened 0.07 percent. Saudi crude supply concerns pushed oil prices higher, adding to negative sentiment ahead of U.S. sanctions against Iran's oil exports. The archipelago reported a steep fall in exports growth for the month of September, its second straight month of decline. Central bank governor Perry Warjiyo said weak export growth in September was due to soft Chinese demand. Investors are eyeing the country's imports as the economy struggles to maintain a current account surplus. CHINESE YUAN The yuan has fallen over 6 percent this year, a source of diplomatic concern for the world's second biggest economy as it remains locked in an intensifying trade war with the United States. China's third-quarter growth will likely slow to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis, a Reuters poll predicted. "Yuan is pretty much dependent on how the U.S. economy evolves, in terms of whether or not they bring about a stronger rates profile as well as how the actual impact of the trade war will be on the export oriented sector in China," Mizuho's Chang added. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0516 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0516 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 112.090 111.76 -0.29 Sing dlr 1.378 1.3765 -0.09 Taiwan dlr 30.890 30.940 +0.16 Korean won 1127.500 1134.3 +0.60 Baht 32.680 32.74 +0.18 Peso 54.070 54.08 +0.02 Rupiah 15220.000 15200 -0.13 Rupee 73.895 73.83 -0.09 Ringgit 4.153 4.154 +0.02 Yuan 6.925 6.9185 -0.09 Change so far in 2018 Currency Latest bid End 2017 Pct Move Japan yen 112.090 112.67 +0.52 Sing dlr 1.378 1.3373 -2.94 Taiwan dlr 30.890 29.848 -3.37 Korean won 1127.500 1070.50 -5.06 Baht 32.680 32.58 -0.31 Peso 54.070 49.93 -7.66 Rupiah 15220.000 13565 -10.87 Rupee 73.895 63.87 -13.57 Ringgit 4.153 4.0440 -2.62 Yuan 6.925 6.5069 -6.04 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick; Editing by Sam Holmes)

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines surges most in 32 months on report China plans import tariff cuts

21 Sep 2018

* Most markets rise as trade war concerns fade * Singapore, Indonesia climb for third session By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 21 Philippine shares jumped 3.5 percent on Friday, the most in 32 months, following a report that China plans to reduce the average tariff rate on imports from most of its trading partners as soon as October. The move was in line with Beijing's pledge to its trading partners, including the United States, that it would take measures to further increase imports, Bloomberg reported on Thursday without specifying the countries which would enjoy lower Chinese tariffs. "This would trim the impact of a possible blowout of the U.S.-China trade war on global trade. So, the positive outlook benefited emerging markets," said Fio De Jesus, an analyst with Manila-based RCBC Securities. Sentiment was also upbeat as broader Asia extended gains on views that fresh U.S. and Chinese tariffs on reciprocal imports may be less harsh than feared. The Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index posted its sharpest daily gain since January 2016, after shedding 3.8 percent in the previous three sessions. Financials and industrials led the rally with BDO Unibank and SM Investments Corp gaining 7.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, most other Southeast Asian stock markets also rose. Singapore shares added 1.2 percent, extending gains into a third session and posting their highest close in three weeks. Index heavyweights DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank jumped 3.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Indonesian shares closed higher for a third session in a row and posted their highest close in over two weeks. Financials led the gains with Bank Negara Indonesia rising 4.8 percent, while Bank Mandiri gained 2.6 percent. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks climbed 0.5 percent. Thai shares closed marginally higher, while Malaysia rose 0.4 percent. Vietnam shares fell marginally, but did not see any significant moves following President Tran Dai Quang's death. For the week, Singapore shares advanced 1.8 percent, Indonesia gained 0.4 percent and Thailand jumped 2 percent, while Philippine stocks declined 0.4 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3217.68 3180.43 1.17 Bangkok 1756.12 1752.11 0.23 Manila 7383 7134.73 3.48 Jakarta 5957.744 5931.266 0.45 Kuala Lumpur 1810.64 1803.7 0.38 Ho Chi Minh 1002.97 1004.74 -0.18 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3217.68 3402.92 -5.44 Bangkok 1756.12 1753.71 0.14 Manila 7383 8558.42 -13.73 Jakarta 5957.744 6355.654 -6.26 Kuala Lumpur 1810.64 1796.81 0.77 Ho Chi Minh 1002.97 984.24 1.90 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Rise on report of China's plan to slash import tariffs

21 Sep 2018

* Markets shake off wider trade war concerns * Philippine shares snap three-day losing streak * Thai shares up for a fourth day By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 21 Philippine shares jumped on Friday after a report that China would cut import tariffs for most of its trading partners, sidelining wider trade war worries, while Singapore shares hit their highest in over two weeks. China plans to reduce the average tariff rate on imports from most of its trading partners as early as October, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. In July, China had cut import tariffs on almost 1,500 consumer products as part of efforts to open up its economy. Markets were unfazed by the most recent round U.S.-China tariffs, which were set at lower rates than previously expected, raising hopes that hostilities between the world's two largest economies may be easing. The Philippine index snapped a three-session losing streak to gain 2.1 percent, but is poised for a third straight week of declines. Financial and industrial stocks led the gains on the benchmark with SM Investments Corp rising 1.9 percent, while BDO Unibank was up 3.2 percent. "China is considering tariff rate cuts on imports on a majority of its trading partners. So, in effect, this would trim the impact of a possible blowout of the U.S.-China trade war on global trade. So, the positive outlook benefited emerging markets," said Fio De Jesus, an analyst at Manila-based RCBC Securities. Consumer and financial stocks helped the Singapore index hit an over-two-week high, in line to post gains for a second consecutive week. The city-state's top lender, DBS Group Holdings, and beer maker Thai Beverage were up over 2 percent each. The Jakarta index rose for a third straight session on the back of gains in financial stocks. Bank Mandiri and Bank Negara Indonesia rose 2.6 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was up 0.2 percent. Thai shares extended gains into a fourth session with sectors climbing across the board. The index is set to record a second straight week of gains. Index heavyweights PTT Pcl and SIAM Cement were up 0.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Thailand is scheduled to release customs-based trade data for August in the coming week. The country's customs-cleared annual exports may have risen 5 percent in August, a Reuters poll showed, slowing from an 8.27 percent increase in the previous month. Malaysian shares were up for a third straight session, while Vietnam rose 0.4 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0338GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3206.76 3180.43 0.83 Bangkok 1760.29 1752.11 0.47 Manila 7279.85 7134.73 2.03 Jakarta 5946.16 5931.266 0.25 Kuala Lumpur 1811.15 1803.7 0.41 Ho Chi Minh 1008.42 1004.74 0.37 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3206.76 3402.92 -5.76 Bangkok 1760.29 1753.71 0.38 Manila 7279.85 8558.42 -14.94 Jakarta 5946.16 6355.654 -6.44 Kuala Lumpur 1811.15 1796.81 0.80 Ho Chi Minh 1008.42 984.24 2.46 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

REFILE-SE Asia Stocks-Most rise as trade war fears fade; Philippines falls over 1 pct

20 Sep 2018

(Adds Reuters Instrument Codes in fourth paragraph) * Indonesia, Malaysia rise for 2nd straight session * Philippines extends falls to 12-week closing low By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 20 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, in line with broader Asia on continued relief that the recent tit-for-tat tariffs by the United States and China were less harsh than feared. After a knee-jerk negative reaction to the new tariffs announced by Washington and Beijing on Tuesday, markets have been speculating that an immediate escalation could be averted. U.S. President Donald Trump has not made fresh threats that he would seek to extend tariffs to all Chinese imports, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said this week he would not weaken the yuan to boost exports. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.3 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial rose on Wednesday. Indonesian shares rose for a second session in a row and closed 1 percent higher, helped by financial and material stocks. Bank Mandiri climbed 4.3 percent, while Unilever Indonesia added 0.9 percent. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks gained 1.6 percent. Malaysian shares closed higher for a second consecutive session with Genting Malaysia adding 1.5 percent, while Hong Leong Bank gained 0.7 percent. Singapore and Thai shares rose marginally. Meanwhile, Philippine stocks fell 1.2 percent, extending their falls into a third session and posting their lowest close since June 28, weighed down by industrials. SM Investments Corp and Aboitiz Equity Ventures plunged 3.2 percent and 4 percent, respectively. "Investors are worried that the recent typhoon, which damaged crops of about 17 billion pesos ($314.29 million), might put pressure on inflation," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc. The Philippine central bank meets on Sept. 27, and is likely to raise interest rates for a fourth time this year in a bid to tame a nearly decade-high inflation and support the local currency. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3180.43 3176.57 0.12 Bangkok 1752.11 1749.8 0.13 Manila 7134.73 7221.23 -1.20 Jakarta 5931.266 5873.597 0.98 Kuala Lumpur 1803.7 1800.71 0.17 Ho Chi Minh 1004.74 995.54 0.92 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3180.43 3402.92 -6.54 Bangkok 1752.11 1753.71 -0.09 Manila 7134.73 8558.42 -16.63 Jakarta 5931.266 6355.654 -6.68 Kuala Lumpur 1803.7 1796.81 0.38 Ho Chi Minh 1004.74 984.24 2.08 ($1 = 54.0900 Philippine pesos) (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on respite from trade war worries

20 Sep 2018

* Indonesia rises in 2nd straight session * Thai shares up for sixth session in seven * Philippine index down for 3rd straight session By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 20 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, in line with Asian peers and overnight gains on Wall Street, while investors took heart as Sino-U.S. trade war pressures seemed to have eased. Markets were cautious after a new round of tariffs between Washington and Beijing, which was seen as less severe than expected, but shrugged off worries amid emerging views that the impact of the trade spat on global economic growth might not be as heavy as previously feared. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 percent, while S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial rose on Wednesday, with the Dow hitting its highest closing level since late January. The Jakarta index rose for a second day to hit a near one-week high with broadbased gains. Consumer and financials stocks were the biggest boost to the benchmark with Unilever Indonesia rising 1.8 percent, while Bank Central Asia added 0.6 percent. The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was up nearly 1 percent. Financials also helped Malaysian stocks hit an over one-week high, its second straight session of gains. Lender Hong Leong Bank Bhd rose 1.1 percent while resorts operator Genting Malaysia, the biggest boost to the benchmark, added 1.7 percent. Thai shares climbed for a third straight session led by gains in energy stocks. PTT Pcl and PTT Exploration and Production were up 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Oil rose for a third day amid another drawdown in U.S. inventories and strong U.S. gasoline demand, while signs OPEC may not raise output to address shrinking supplies from Iran also supported prices. Singapore shares were largely unchanged as gains in financials and consumer staples were offset by losses in industrials and telecom stocks. Meanwhile, Philippine shares fell for a third straight session as losses in real estate and industrial stocks outweighed gains in financials. Property developer SM Prime Holdings was the biggest drag on the benchmark, falling nearly 2 percent, while shipping business International Container Terminal Services fell 3.5 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 03230GMT Market Current Previous Close Pct Move Singapore 3176 3176.57 -0.02 Bangkok 1756.88 1749.8 0.40 Manila 7203.48 7221.23 -0.25 Jakarta 5912.696 5873.597 0.67 Kuala Lumpur 1807.03 1800.71 0.35 Ho Chi Minh 997.25 995.54 0.17 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3176 3402.92 -6.67 Bangkok 1756.88 1753.71 0.18 Manila 7203.48 8558.42 -15.83 Jakarta 5912.696 6355.654 -6.97 Kuala Lumpur 1807.03 1796.81 0.57 Ho Chi Minh 997.25 984.24 1.32 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets rise as investors move on from trade war fears

19 Sep 2018

* Thailand extends gains to near 4-month closing high * Singapore rises 1.2 pct to two-week closing high * Philippine falls about 1 pct on foreign selling By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 19 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, tracking gains in broader Asia, as investors shrugged off the latest round of tariff war between Washington and Beijing. China will levy tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation for new U.S tariffs, as previously planned, but has reduced the volume of tariffs that it will collect on the products. The new tariff measures will take effect on Sept. 24, the date when the United States says it will begin to levy new tariffs of 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese products. "Financial markets may be turning slightly blase towards the U.S.-China tit-for-tat trade war, with China's retaliation of tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports .... providing some respite to the sell-off for selected Asian bourses," OCBC said in a note. Thai shares closed higher for a second straight session and posted their highest close since May 23, helped by gains across the board. Index heavyweights PTT Pcl and CP All Pcl rose 1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. Earlier in the day, the central bank left its key policy rate unchanged at 1.50 percent, as widely expected, and maintained its forecasts for export and economic growth this year. Consumer stocks helped Indonesian shares climb 1.1 percent with Astra International rising nearly 5.3 percent and Unilever Indonesia adding 1.5 percent. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks rose 1.2 percent. Singapore stocks gained 1.2 percent after two straight sessions of declines and posted a two-week closing high. DBS Group Holdings, the city-state's top lender, rose 1.2 percent, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp added 0.7 percent. Meanwhile, Philippine shares fell nearly 1 percent to a more than two-month closing low, dragged by financials. Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala Corp declined 3.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. The archipelago is facing high inflation and rising costs, with the situation worsening due to a weak peso. This has sparked concerns of a widening current account deficit with the central bank signalling a fourth hike in its benchmark interest rates this year, a central bank official said on Tuesday. Foreign investors net sold $11.8 million worth shares on Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon Data. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3176.57 3139.34 1.19 Bangkok 1749.8 1744.42 0.31 Manila 7221.23 7286.34 -0.89 Jakarta 5873.597 5811.79 1.06 Kuala Lumpur 1800.71 1792.94 0.43 Ho Chi Minh 995.54 993.49 0.21 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3176.57 3402.92 -6.65 Bangkok 1749.8 1753.71 -0.22 Manila 7221.23 8558.42 -15.62 Jakarta 5873.597 6355.654 -7.58 Kuala Lumpur 1800.71 1796.81 0.22 Ho Chi Minh 995.54 984.24 1.15 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Rise as investors shrug off trade worries; Indonesia up 1 pct

19 Sep 2018

* Indonesia up after two sessions of losses * Malaysian shares hit one-week high By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 19 Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, in line with Asian peers, with investors shrugging off trade war worries as the latest round of tariffs between Washington and Beijing was seen as being less severe than expected. China imposed tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation to U.S. President Donald Trump's 10 percent tariffs on of Chinese goods. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.7 percent. "Financial markets may be turning slightly blase towards the U.S.-China tit-for-tat trade war, with China's retaliation of tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports .... providing some respite to the sell-off for selected Asian bourses," OCBC said in a note. The Jakarta index rose after two sessions of losses, helped by consumer stocks. Diversified conglomerate Astra International was up over 2 percent, while Unilever Indonesia added 2.6 percent to the benchmark. The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks rose 1.2 percent. Financial shares helped the Malaysian index to hit a one-week high, as the market awaits August inflation data. Malaysia's consumer price index likely rose 0.4 percent in August from a year earlier, its slowest pace in more than three years, a Reuters poll showed. CIMB Group Holdings and Public Bank Bhd were up 1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Philippine stocks fell marginally as losses in financials outweighed gain in industrial stocks. Bank of the Philippine Islands was down nearly 2 percent, while SM Investments Corp was up 0.7 percent. The Philippine central bank signalled a fourth hike in its benchmark interest rates this year, a central bank official said on Tuesday, as policymakers boost efforts to tame a nearly decade-high inflation and support the local currency. Thai shares rose for a second straight session with gains across sectors. Oil and gas producer PTT Pcl was up nearly 1 percent while TMB Bank jumped nearly 10 percent. Thailand's central bank is expected to yet again leave its key interest rate near record lows on Wednesday as it focuses on supporting growth as inflation remains benign, but analysts say policy tightening could be on the cards before year-end. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0317GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3152.46 3139.34 0.42 Bangkok 1749.26 1744.42 0.28 Manila 7280.3 7286.34 -0.08 Jakarta 5872.692 5811.79 1.05 Kuala Lumpur 1801.43 1792.94 0.47 Ho Chi Minh 998.93 993.49 0.55 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3152.46 3402.92 -7.36 Bangkok 1749.26 1753.71 -0.25 Manila 7280.3 8558.42 -14.93 Jakarta 5872.692 6355.654 -7.60 Kuala Lumpur 1801.43 1796.81 0.26 Ho Chi Minh 998.93 984.24 1.49 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

SE Asia Stocks-Subdued; Philippines marks 2-month closing low

18 Sep 2018

* Financials drag Malaysian index lower * Indonesia falls for second straight session * Thailand posts near 4-month closing high By Sumeet Gaikwad Sept 18 Southeast Asian stock markets were largely subdued on Tuesday with investors staying cautious amid a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, while the Philippines slumped to a two-month closing low. U.S. President Donald Trump stepped-up his trade war with China on Monday after imposing 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, but warned that retaliatory action by China would lead to further tariffs. "There could be a diversion of investment from China to other ASEAN countries, as manufacturers seek to shield production from U.S. tariffs," Mizuho Bank said in a note. Philippine shares marked their lowest close in two months as financial and industrial stocks faltered with blue-chip SM Investments Corp down 3.4 percent, while Bank of the Philippine Islands plunged over 4 percent. Southeast Asian shares opened lower, but no sharp falls were seen as the new tariffs were well within expectations, and investors had taken positions accordingly. Singapore stocks ended slightly lower, weighed down by financials and consumer stocks, with lender United Overseas Bank and Wilmar International Ltd declining 0.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Financials also told on the Malaysian index which lost over half a percent. Malayan Banking Bhd fell 1.6 percent, while CIMB Group Holdings was down over 3 percent. Malaysian inflation data is due on Wednesday, with the consumer price index seen rising 0.4 percent in August from a year earlier, its slowest pace in more than three years, a Reuters poll showed. The Jakarta index held steady amid headwinds from the U.S.-China trade war but was marginally down due to losses in consumer staples. Consumer products maker Unilever Indonesia slipped over 1 percent while Indofood Sukses Makmur fell nearly 3 percent. The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was down 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, Thai shares notched a near four-month closing high with broadbased gains. Index heavyweights PTT Pcl and Airports of Thailand rose 2 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous Close Pct Move Singapore 3139.34 3141.4 -0.07 Bangkok 1744.42 1718.39 1.51 Manila 7286.34 7413.56 -1.72 Jakarta 5811.79 5824.257 -0.21 Kuala Lumpur 1792.94 1803.76 -0.60 Ho Chi Minh 993.49 987.61 0.60 Change on year Market Current End 2017 Pct Move Singapore 3139.34 3402.92 -7.75 Bangkok 1744.42 1753.71 -0.53 Manila 7286.34 8558.42 -14.86 Jakarta 5811.79 6355.654 -8.56 Kuala Lumpur 1792.94 1796.81 -0.22 Ho Chi Minh 993.49 984.24 0.94 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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