"SET rises on strong oil prices, other Asean stock markets drop"
BANGKOK, February 4 -- Thai stocks bucked the regional trend rising marginally, while other Southeast Asian markets ended lower in lacklustre trading on Monday, with Philippine and Indonesia indexes falling the most.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index added 2.22 points or 0.13% to 1,653,62, in trade of 31.74 billion baht. The market was supported by strong oil prices. PTT Exploration and Production Plc gained 1.50 baht or 1.2% to 125.50 baht, while IRPC Plc gained 10 satang or 1.7% to 5.90 baht. The Philippine index was the biggest loser in the region falling nearly 1%, with markets in Malaysia and Singapore closing early on account of Chinese New Year.
"What we're seeing is traders taking potential risks off the board because the quality of the markets will be lower than normal with the Chinese New Year," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA based in Singapore. "People like portfolio managers are really going to lighten up risks due to everybody else being away because without all of those major players around the liquidity will be lot lower in markets."
Industrial and financial stocks dominated the losses in the Philippines, with SM Investments Corp and SM Prime Holdings Inc falling 1.8% each. "The volume seems to be minimal so I think the market is just correcting since it rallied in the past two trading days," said Miguel Ong, a research analyst at AP Securities in Manila. Philippines has had the strongest beginning to 2019 in Southeast Asia, having gained 8.08% so far.
Indonesian stocks dropped 0.9% snapping three sessions of gains, hurt by financials and consumer discretionaries. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT dipped 2.4%, while Astra International Tbk PT sank 3%.
Malaysian stocks erased early gains to close the session unchanged, while Singapore stocks ended the session slightly lower.
Vietnam markets were closed for a holiday.
"Manila leads Asean bourses, SET ends higher"
BANGKOK, February 1 -- Philippine shares rose 1.7%, helped by foreign investor buying and as the latest round of Sino-US trade talks kept hopes of a comprehensive trade deal alive, while Thai stocks closed 0.59% higher on Friday.
The latest round of Sino-US trade talks ended on a positive note, with US President Donald Trump saying he was optimistic that the two nations could reach "the biggest deal ever made." The benchmark Philippine stock index was the biggest gainer in the region, boosted by financials and industrials. BDO Unibank climbed 3.7% and SM Investment Corp added 2.5%. Philippine shares advanced 1.1% this week in their fifth consecutive weekly gain. "Foreign buying in the Philippines has been consistent over the last few weeks, and for today the biggest driver would be foreign inflows towards emerging markets," said Charles William Ang, an analyst with COL Financial Group. Foreign investors bought net 1.02 billion pesos (US$19.54 million) worth shares on Friday and 5.75 billion pesos this week, according to Refinitiv data. Investors now await January inflation data and the central bank's monetary policy review due next week. Inflation had cooled more than expected in December, reinforcing views that the central bank is done raising interest rates.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index rose 9.67 points or 0.6% to 1,651.40, after data showed January's headline inflation rate was below the Bank of Thailand's target range of 1-4% for a third straight month. The BoT will review borrowing rates next week. The central bank governor had said in January that the country's accommodative monetary policy is still needed to support the economy. PTT Plc gained 1 baht or 2% to 49.50 baht, while Airports of Thailand Plc climbed 75 satang or 1.09% to 69.75 baht.
Indonesian shares closed 0.1% higher after rising as much as 0.8% earlier, as losses in telecom stocks offset gains in financials. Indonesian shares gained 0.9% for the week, marking their sixth straight weekly rise. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) rose 1.8% to close at a record high, while Charoen Pokphand Indonesia jumped 4.4%. Indonesia's annual consumer inflation in January slowed more than expected, data from the statistics bureau showed.
The Malaysian stock market was closed for a holiday.
"Gains in financial, energy stocks help SET index rise"
BANGKOK, January 31 -- Thai shares rose to a near eight-week closing high on Thursday after gains in the energy and financial sectors.
Vietnam and Malaysia shares dropped but other Southeast Asian markets were in the green on the Federal Reserve's dovish outlook. The Fed kept rates at 2.25 % to 2.5 % on Wednesday as widely expected, which are well below historical averages. The US central bank also discarded its promises of "further gradual increases" in interest rates, and said it would be "patient" before making any further moves amid signs of global economic slowdown and a damaging trade war with China. Rising US borrowing costs in 2018 had led to massive capital flight from emerging markets, prompting regional central banks to hike rates to reduce the rate differential and combat a stronger US dollar. "Markets clearly like the newly dovish Fed, which had exceeded expectations for dovishness in the midst of a positive output gap and tight labour market," Mizuho Bank said in a client note.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index added 9.13 points or 0.56% to 1,641.72, in turnover worth 57 billion baht. Kasikornbank topped the most active stock. KBANK jumped 7 baht or 3.63% to 200 baht, Bangkok Bank gained 4 baht or 1.90% to 215 baht and Siam Commercial Bank closed at 133 baht, up 2 baht or 1.53%. PTT Plc added 25 satang or 0.52% to 48.50 baht and PTT Global Chemical ended 50 satang or 0.74% higher to 68 baht.
Indonesian shares jumped 1.1%, boosted by financial and industrial stocks. The index rose 5.5% in January in its third straight monthly gain. Bank Central Asia and Unilever Indonesia gained about 2% and 1.9%, respectively. An index of the country's top 45 liquid stocks climbed 1.5% to its highest since April 2018.
Philippine shares closed 0.3% higher after gaining as much as 1.5% earlier in the session. The benchmark stock index pared its gains after the central bank said January annual inflation is likely to settle within a range of 4.3% to 5.1%, above its target of 2-4% for 2019. Surging inflation had dented consumption and put pressure on the peso in 2018, prompting Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to hike its benchmark rate five times. The Philippine stock index added 7.3% in January, in its sharpest monthly gain since March 2016.
Vietnam shares ended 0.6% lower, while Malaysian shares retreated from early gains to close flat.
"SET index ends above 1,630 mark, leads SE Asian peers"
BANGKOK, January 30 -- Thai shares lead the stock markets in Southeast Asia on Wednesday, with PTT Exploration and Production Plc emerging as the top boost to the index.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index recovered from early weakness to close at 1,632.60, up 8.55 points or 0.53%, in turnover worth 48 billion baht. PTTEP topped the most active stock after the company posted an 88.6% rise in full-year profit. PTTEP gained 2.50 baht or 2.11% to 121 baht, while Airports of Thailand Plc gained 1 baht or 1.5% to 69.75 baht.
Philippine shares recorded their worst fall in two weeks, as investors awaited a US Federal Reserve rates review and key Sino-US trade talks. The Fed is widely expected to leave rates unchanged on Wednesday, as policymakers had made it clear that they plan a "patient" pause in rate hikes. The central bank is taking a wait-and-see approach to further tightening in the face of a global economic slowdown, US federal government shutdown, trade tensions and waning business and consumer confidence. Adding to investor caution is the start of a crucial round of Sino-US trade talks on Wednesday and Thursday. Philippine shares fell as much as 1.7% on profit-taking before recovering partially to close 0.9% lower. "We are seeing sales of shares of companies with large institutional following, investors are now being cautious about what will happen in the US Fed meeting," said Rachelle Cruz, a research analyst at AP Securities in Manila. Cruz said a lot of funds from the profit-taking were invested in "third-liner stocks", with Premiere Entertainment emerging as one of the most actively traded stocks after a funding deal worth 15 billion pesos (US$286.67 million) with a Qatar-based investment management firm. Index heavyweights BDO Unibank Inc and SM Prime Holdings lost 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively, while Premiere Entertainment closed at its highest level since November 1997.
Malaysian shares fell 0.4%, dragged by utility and basic material stocks. Effects of the Sino-US trade war were seen with data showing Malaysia's exports to China, a major trading partner, contracted 0.5% annually in December, while shipments to the United States surged 13.5%.
Singapore shares closed 0.4% lower, with DBS Group Holdings and Singapore Press Holdings falling 1.2% and 2.4%, respectively.
"The SET index added 1.41 points or 0.09% to 1,625.03 on Monday"
BANGKOK, Januari 28 -- Thai shares closed higher for a ninth straight session, while Philippine stocks ended flat on Monday.
It's retreating from an over 10-month high hit earlier in the session, as investors booked profits ahead of US-China trade talks and Federal Reserve meeting later this week. The Stock Exchange of Thailand index ended 1.41 points or 0.09% higher to 1,625.03, in turnover of 48 billion baht. It closed higher for a ninth straight session.
Philippine shares have outperformed regional peers so far this year, gaining about 7.9%, helped by cooling inflation, a dovish Fed and hopes of an ease in the country's central bank monetary policy.
Investors now await resolution of US-China trade negotiations as attention shifts to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He's visit to the United States on Wednesday and Thursday for the next round of talks.
"An open and constructive dialogue is expected, given low-hanging fruits on trade deficit reduction. But a comprehensive deal will elude," said Vishnu Varathan, head of Economics and Strategy at Mizuho Bank in Singapore, in a note. Most investors are cautious and therefore "we are seeing profit-taking activity", said Rachelle Cruz, a research analyst at AP Securities in Manila. The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged after raising them for a fifth time in as many quarters in December.
Markets in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia fell as the region's biggest trade partner, China, echoed signs of a slowing global economy after data showed earnings at China's industrial firms shrank for a second straight month in December.
Indonesian shares fell 0.4%, hurt by losses in telecommunication services and financials. Unilever Indonesia and Bank Mandiri (Persero) were the biggest drag, falling over 2.5% each.
The country's index of 45 most liquid stocks fell about 0.7%.
Malaysian shares slipped 0.2%, as Genting Bhd lost 1%, while Malaysia Airports Holdings fell 1.8%.
KUALA LUMPUR, January 26 -- The apparent glut in the Malaysian property market would likely see a respite in March with the injection of stimulus and incentives.
The Southeast Asian country’s property market has been making headlines over the so-called glut and analysts noted that developers were partly to blame for building properties that were not aligned with the demands. This has led to RM19.54 billion (US$4.7 billion) in unsold homes last year, of which most of them involved units priced over RM500,000 (US$120,481) and above per unit.
However, Michael Geh, of Fiabci Malaysia, said this property downturn in the Southeast Asian country could be reversed once the newly-created National Housing Policy takes effect and when implementors announced their findings and recommendations. “There will be announcements of affordable housing, actions by Bank Negara Malaysia to stimulate the market and other incentives that are still under discussion between the industry and the government,” he said, as quoted by the Malay Mail. The country recorded a dismal performance in 2018, especially in the final quarter of the year, but the announcements would stimulate the property market, he said referring to a recent report in the Financial Times entitled “Malaysians unimpressed by steps to boost housing market”. “The report is too premature and it was based on outdated 2018 data without in-depth analysis of the ongoing plans by the current government,” he said.
The FT report found Malaysian consumers were hesitant to buy property towards the end of 2018 even though the government introduced measures to encourage home ownership.
However, Geh said the measures announced in the annual Budget last year would take full effect this year. “They used historical figures but referred to Budget 2019, in which the findings and more measures under the new national housing policy will only be fully revealed in March,” he said.
A host of analysts believed property prices were expected to remain stagnant this year but Geh believes this may not be the case. “It may not be true for the whole of 2019, especially with the incentives that the government is planning to introduce,” he said. Geh said the Bank Negara Malaysia (central bank), the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the Finance Ministry were holding regular engagements to come up with “goodies” for the industry and home buyers. “The new government is taking extraordinary steps in a tenacious manner that will help spur both the primary and secondary market of the property industry this year,” he said.
"Malaysia stocks lead SE Asian gains, SET closes higher"
BANGKOK, January 25 -- Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged higher on Friday with Malaysia leading the pack, while Thai shares closed higher.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index gained 3.09 points or 0.19% to 1,623.62, in turnover of 55 billion baht. CPALL Plc, PTT Global Chemical Plc and PTT Plc were the most active stocks.CPALL was up 25 satang or 0.32% to 77.25 baht, while PTT GC dropped 2 baht or 2.9% to 67 and PTT ened 25 satang or 0.51% lower to 48.75.
Malaysian shares rose 0.4%, posting their fifth session of gains in six, driven by materials and consumer cyclicals. The investment banking arm of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia's largest bank by assets, is closing its institutional research business in Hong Kong and China as part of restructuring the institutional brokerage business, a bank spokeswoman said. Shares of the company rose 0.4% to their highest close in over three months.
Singapore trimmed earlier gains after data showed industrial production rose slower than expected in December. Singapore shares climbed about 1% intraday on positive corporate earnings, before paring gains to close 0.4% higher. Keppel Corp Ltd posted a fourth-quarter net profit of S$135 million (US$99.39 million), compared to a net loss a year earlier, while Singapore Exchange Ltd posted a 9% rise in second-quarter net profit. Shares of Keppel Corp rose 1.1%, while those of Singapore Exchange firmed 0.9%. Data released earlier showed the city-state's manufacturing output in December rose 2.7% from a year earlier, compared with a Reuters forecast of 4.4% expansion and 7.6% on-year growth seen in November. "Should 4Q18 GDP manufacturing growth get shaded down in tandem with how industrial production fared (assuming ceteris paribus), 4Q18 GDP print will likely print at its 2.0% handle, thus bringing full-year 2018 GDP growth print to 3.2%," United Overseas Bank said in a note.
Material and telecom stocks helped the benchmark Indonesian index close higher. Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk Perusahaan Perseroan rose 0.5%, while Bank Central Asia Tbk PT firmed 0.7%.
For the week, Indonesian shares added 0.7% in their fifth straight weekly gain.
Philippine shares erased earlier gains to close slightly lower, but posted their fourth straight weekly gain. Industrials were the biggest drag on Friday with Aboitiz Equity Ventures dropping 4.2% and JG Summit slipping 2.1%.
"SET edges higher, Philippine shares lead SE Asian peers"
BANGKOK, January 24 -- Thai shares were slightly higher on Thursday, while the Philippine market led the pack as investors expect the country's central bank to ease monetary policies after data showed the economy grew slower than expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index gained 3.15 points or 0.19% to 1,620.53, in turnover worth 60 billion baht. CPALL Plc, PTT Plc and Airports of Thailand Plc topped the most active stocks. CPALL added 1.50% to 77 baht, while PTT and AoT dropped 1.01% to 49 baht and 1.44% to 68.25 baht, respectively.
The Philippine economy grew 6.1% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slightly faster than the previous quarter's 6.0%, but below the 6.2% seen in a Reuters poll. That brought full-year growth of 6.2%, below the government's downwardly revised target of 6.5-6.9% and 2017's pace of 6.7%. Some economists say if growth slows more, the central bank, which hiked rates five times in 2018 by 175 basis points in total to battle high inflation, could loosen policy this year. "We can see the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) slashing RRR (reverse repo rate) further in the first quarter followed by a possible policy rate cut in the second quarter to help bolster growth for the second half of the year," Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist with ING, said in a note. The benchmark Philippine stock index rose 0.9% to its highest close in over 10 months, buoyed by financials and industrials. Index heavyweights Universal Robina Corp and Bank of the Philippine Islands gained 3.5% and 2.1%, respectively.
Malaysian stocks rose 0.3% after data showed lower-than-expected December inflation and the central bank held rates. The consumer price index rose 0.2% in December from a year earlier, below the 0.4% forecast in a Reuters poll. The central bank kept its key interest rate at 3.25% as widely expected and said the economy was expected to remain on a steady growth path in 2019. Materials and financials were among the top gainers with Malayan Banking Bhd rose 0.8%, while Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd firmed 1.2%.
Meanwhile, a trading mishap in Singapore's Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd sent the benchmark stock index down as much as 0.6% before it recovered. Shares of Jardine Matheson briefly tanked 83.5%, losing nearly US$41 billion in market value, before recovering in what traders said was likely a "fat finger" error when 167,500 shares changed hands at $10.99 compared to Wednesday's close of $66.47.
Jardine Matheson closed 0.5% higher.
"Thai stocks lead SE Asian peers on election announcement"
BANGKOK, January 23 -- The SET index rises after a royal decree calling for the election was announced on Wednesday.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index climbed almost 1% after a royal decree for a general election was issued on Wednesday. The SET index added 15.61 points or 0.97% to end the day at 1,617.38, in trade of 67.87 billion baht. Stock heavyweights PTT Plc, Kasikornbank Plc, Airports of Thailand Plc and Siam Commercial Bank Plc were among the most active stocks. The index jumped soon after His Majesty the King issued the royal decree for the election, which took immediate effect, followed by the poll date of March 24 set by the Election Commission hours later. The Thai shares were also buoyed by financials and telecoms.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand said the baht's strength is in line with regional currencies, as the dollar has weakened. The baht, Asia's best performing currency, has appreciated about 2.6% against the dollar this year, hovering around its highest in more than eight months hit last week. "Expectations of foreign inflows into Thai assets also weigh on the pair (USD-THB). This is in contrast to yesterday where foreign investors sold $39.1 million and $46.8 million in equities and debt," Maybank said in a note.
Malaysian shares snapped three straight sessions of gains and closed 0.8% lower, weighed down by the material and financial sectors. The Malaysian market dropped ahead of a central bank meeting.
Shares of Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd dropped 6.1%, while those of CIMB group Holdings Bhd fell 1.9%. Bank Negara Malaysia will likely keep its benchmark overnight interest rate unchanged at 3.25% at its policy review on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed, with the last move a year ago, when it raised the rate by 25 basis points. The consumer price index likely rose 0.4% in December from a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed, slightly faster than the previous month. Among other losers, Singapore dropped 0.7% after data showed inflation rose more than expected in December. The headline consumer price index rose 0.5% in December from a year earlier, higher than the 0.4% rise expected by economists in a Reuters poll and the 0.3% increase in November. Financials and industrials were among the top losers with DBS Group Holdings Ltd shedding 1.6% and Hutchison Port Holdings Trust dipping 2%.
Philippine shares erased most of earlier losses to close slightly lower ahead of fourth-quarter GDP data. A Reuters poll of 12 economists predicts the gross domestic product for the December quarter to have expanded by 6.2% from a year earlier, marginally up from July-September's 6.1%, a three-year low. Financial and consumer discretionary stocks were among the top losers with Jollibee Foods Corp declining 2.5% and Bank of the Philippine Islands shedding 2.1%.
"SET rises on trade surplus but BDMS, BA shares slump"
BANGKOK, January 21 -- A trade surplus and a surge in oil prices drove the Stock Exchange of Thailand index.
While Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BDMS) and Bangkok Airways Plc (BA) shares plunged on Monday after the resignation of billionaire founder Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth. The rose 4.61 points or 0.29% to 1,588.38, in turnover of 45 billion baht, after data showed higher exports for 2018 and due to a surge in oil prices. While in December, an 8.15% decline in imports resulted in a trade surplus of $1.06 billion, compared to expectations of $1.1 billion deficit. Meanwhile, crude prices rose to their highest in 2019 after data showed refinery processing in China climbed to a record last year despite a slowing economy.
Energy stocks PTT Plc and PTT Exploration and Production Plc were among the top boosts. PTT rose 50 satang or 1.04% to 48.75 baht and PTTEP gained 2 baht or 1.60% to 127 baht. Shares of BDMS plunged 2 baht or 8.47% to 21.60 baht, while BA slid 90 satang or 7.14% to 11.70 baht, after Dr Prasert resigned as chief executive officer of BDMS and BA. The move came after the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday of BA stock manipulation. Ms Poramaporn, chief operating officer at BDMS, and Ms Narumon, executive secretary to the CEO of BA, also on Monday.
Other Southeast Asian stock markets ended mixed on expectations of further stimulus from China after data showed the slowest rate of annual economic growth in 28 years, while positive remarks regarding US-China trade relations boosted investor sentiment. China's economic growth cooled slightly to 6.4% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, weighed down by weak investment, faltering consumer confidence and the trade war with the United States, leaving 2018 growth at 6.6%, the weakest since 1990. Chinese policymakers have pledged more support to the economy this year with the government expected to unveil more fiscal stimulus measures during the annual parliament meeting in March. "Markets had expected the slowing economic growth, I think focus is shifted to stimulus measures that China has announced over the past few weeks," said Joel Ng, an analyst with KGI Securities.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Saturday there had been progress toward a trade deal with China, but denied that he was considering lifting tariffs. Broader Asian markets edged higher with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.2%.
Vietnam stocks led gains in Southeast Asia with a rise of 1%. Financial and real estate stocks were among the top contributors with both CMC Corp and Ninh Van Bay Travel Real Estate JSC rising 7%.
Singapore stocks closed marginally lower ahead of December inflation data expected on Wednesday.
The city-state's consumer price index probably rose 0.4% last month from a year earlier, according to a Reuters poll.
Philippine shares snapped two straight sessions of gains as investors booked profits after the benchmark stock index posted a nine-and-a-half-month closing high on Friday
Malaysian markets were closed for a holiday