"Real estate, financial shares drag Philippine market"
BANGKOK, February 19 -- Philippine stocks fell the most on Tuesday dragged by losses in the real estate and financial stocks, as most of the Southeast Asian equity markets ended lower, while Malaysia gained as investors took positions amid the earnings season.
The Philippine index dropped about 1% to its lowest level since Jan 8, dragged by losses in real estate and financial stocks. "The Philippine market right now is in search of a new catalyst and with none in sight, some investors are already choosing to take profit," said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities. BDO Unibank Inc shed 3.2%, while Ayala Land Inc dropped 3.7% to close at its lowest level since Jan 3. "Ayala Corp has $293 million worth of bonds that are exchangeable to shares of ALI and that will mature by that time (in May). Some investors may look to cash in, exerting a downward pressure on ALI's share price," a note from RCBC securities said.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian index gained 0.8% to a three-month closing high on the back of materials and utilities. Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rose 3.9% ahead of its fourth quarter result announcement. Shares of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd strengthened more than 1%, after posting a jump in quarterly net profit.
Real estate stocks drove the Vietnam index marginally higher, with Vinhomes JSC and Vingroup JSC rising 6.1% and 2%, respectively. Singapore and Indonesia indexes traded relatively lower.
"SET drops, other Asean stock markets rise"
BANGKOK, February 14 -- The Stock Exchange of Thailand index ended lower, while other Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Thursday as a surprise jump in monthly Chinese trade data brought slight relief amid continued focus on Sino-US talks.
The SET index eased 3.09 points or 0.19% to 1,652.64, in turnover of 45.88 billion baht, despite gains in shares of telecom operators. True Corporation jumped 25 satang or 4.81% to 5.45 baht, Advanced Info Service added 2.50 baht or 1.37% to 184.50 and Jasmine International ended 25 satang or 4.24% higher to 6.15 baht. PTT shares however dropped 75 satang or 1.53% to 48.25 baht. The region's biggest trading partner, China, reported better-than-expected trade figures for January, easing some fears of an imminent slowdown in the economic powerhouse. High-level talks between the country and the United States have been a major focal point for markets this week. US President Donald Trump is considering a 60-day extension of the Mar 1 deadline for higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
The Philippine benchmark firmed 0.9% to snap four consecutive sessions of losses and led the gains among its regional peers. Financial stocks were the biggest boost to the index, with BDO Unibank Inc rising 2.3% to post its best close in nearly 11-months. Asian fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp jumped 1.7% and was also among the top gainers on the Philippine benchmark after reporting a rise in fourth-quarter net income. Philippine markets had seen large outflows over the past four sessions as foreign investors rebalanced their portfolios.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam stock exchange continued to gain for the fourth straight day, closing 0.8% up, supported by a persisting rally in the country's real estate sector. Property developers Vingroup JSC and Vincom Retail JSC gained 3.6% each. "(The) Vietnamese market has been moving in a positive direction on Wall Street cues. Investor sentiment has also been supported by a possibly positive outcome of the Trump – Kim summit slated for Hanoi later this month," said a stock broker with SSI Securities Corp. "Traditionally, cashflows into the market in Vietnam are often strong in the first quarter of the year as several corporate investors have abundant cash at hands."
The Malaysian index ticked up 0.2%, after data showed on Thursday that the country's economy expanded 4.7% in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, in line with expectations, ending four quarters of slowing growth.
Singapore's index ended 0.3% higher ahead of a fourth-quarter GDP report due on Friday. The country's economy likely grew at a slower pace than initially estimated as growth in the city-state's manufacturing and services sectors came under strain from slowing demand, a Reuters poll showed.
"Energy stocks lead SET gains, Philippine shares continue slide"
BANGKOK, Februari 13 -- Thai shares rose on Wednesday, with energy stocks leading broad-based gains, while the Philippine index declined for a fourth consecutive session.
Singapore stocks closed at a more than 4-month high, leading the gains in Southeast Asia after US President Donald Trump said he could relax the China trade deal deadline. Trump said on Tuesday that he could let the March 1 deadline to reach a trade agreement "slide for a little while," although he added he was not inclined to do so. However, his remarks spurred a rally in Wall Street overnight, as well as a number of Asian players.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index advanced 13.24 points or 0.81% to 1,655.73, in turnover worth 45 billion baht. Shares of energy stocks were among the largest boosts to the index. PTT Plc added 50 satang or 1.03% to 49 baht. PTT Global Chemical Plc gained 1.75 baht or 2.59% to 69.25 baht and PTT Exploration and Production Plc advanced 2.50 baht or 2.06% to 124 baht.
The Philippine index, which has outperformed its peers this year so far, declined for a fourth consecutive session to end 1.1% lower, pressured by industrial and financial stocks. Industrial conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc dropped 3.9% and was the top loser on the benchmark, whereas BDO Unibank Inc fell 1.1%. Philippine's latest downturn appears to be a flow driven correction due to international investors reallocating their funds, said Rachelle C Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities.
The Singapore index, which has a high trade exposure with China, outpaced its peers for the day with a 1.4% rise, posting its highest close since Oct 3, 2018. Financials bolstered the benchmark with lender United Overseas Bank Ltd jumping 2.5%.
The Vietnam benchmark rose for the third day, closing about 0.8% higher, driven by financial and consumer stocks.
Malaysian shares ended 0.1% lower ahead of the country's fourth-quarter GDP figures released on Thursday.
"SET ends flat, Malaysia stocks lead losses in Asean"
BANGKOK, February 8 -- Thai shares lost slightly on Friday, while Malaysia stocks led losses, as investors were rattled after the United States dismissed the likelihood of a quick resolution to the long drawn Sino-US trade war.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would not be meeting China's Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline, sparking fears that two economies would not be able to clinch a pivotal trade deal.
The negative sentiment dampened regional markets and pushed broader Asian shares lower, though trading remained thin as China was closed for Lunar New Year holidays.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index eased 1.43 points or 0.09% to 1,651.68, in turnover worth 56.86 billion baht. The SET index dropped 16 points shortly after the open before it rebounded to end flat.
The Malaysian index ended 0.4% lower, falling the most across the region. Index heavyweight Axiata Group Bhd fell 4.4% to an over two-month low, dragging the benchmark. According to local media reports Axiata Group and its unit Ncell are to foot a tax bill of 61 billion Nepalese rupees (US$536.03 million), excluding late fees and fines for the capital gains tax on Ncell buyout deal following a Supreme Court ruling.
Philippine stocks fell 0.4%, hurt by losses in financial and telecom stocks. For the week the Manila benchmark index dropped 0.9%, marking its first weekly loss in 2019. PLDT Inc dropped 3.4%, while shares of Bank of the Philippine Islands slid 1.4%.
The Indonesian benchmark closed down 0.2%, with material and energy stocks leading declines. The index marked its first weekly loss in the new year, snapping a rally of six weeks. Charoen Pokphand Indonesia Tbk PT dropped 1.9%, while United Tractors Tbk PT slipped 2.9%.
Vietnam's financial markets remained closed this week for Lunar New Year holidays.
"SET drops 5.60 points, Malaysia shares lead Asean peers"
BANGKOK, February 7 -- The Stock Exchange of Thailand index dipped on Thursday, while Malaysia shares led the gains, as optimism over a trade deal between the United States and China were renewed following indications of further official talks in Beijing next week.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that he and other US officials would travel to Beijing to continue trade talks, eyeing a deal before the March 2 deadline. China is the biggest trading partner of the region. With easing trade frictions, a dovish Fed and prospects of increased infrastructure spending, foreign investors are now returning to Southeast Asian markets, propelling these markets to record an upward trend for the most part. So far this year, foreign investors have been net buyers of stocks in markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
The SET index eased 5.60 points or 0.34% to 1,653.11, in turnover of 50 billion baht. The index was dragged by consumer and health care stocks. Shares of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc lost 30 satang or 1.27% to 23.30 baht and Siam Makro Plc dropped 1.25 baht or 3.29% to 36.75 baht.
The Malaysian benchmark rose 0.6%, leading gains in the region after thin trading in the region this week due to a two-day closure on account of the Chinese New Year. Utilities and consumer cyclicals boosted the Malaysian benchmark index, with Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Maxis Bhd climbing 3.7% and 2.5%, respectively.
The Singapore index gained 0.5% to its highest level since Jan 25, helped by telecom and industrial stocks. "Singapore equities has some catching up to do as the US markets have done well over the last two trading sessions. At the same time, traders are also placing bets ahead of the budget on February 18, 2019," said Liu Jinshu, head of research at Tayrona Financial Pte Ltd. Shares of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd gained 1% while those of Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd firmed 1.3%.
The Philippine stock index climbed 0.5%, with gains concentrated in industrial stocks. SM Investments Corp and JG Summit Holdings Inc gained over 2% each. The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady for a second straight meeting on Thursday, saying inflation risk had fallen on lower crude oil and food prices. Indonesian stocks also ended the session slightly lower, hurt by consumer and financial stocks. Charoen Pokphand Indonesia Tbk PT slipped 2.8%, while Bank Central Asia Tbk PT slid 0.5%.
Vietnam financial markets remained closed for Chinese New Year holidays.
"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.
TOKYO, January 30 -- China opened a maritime rescue center on one of its man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, state-run media reported, as Beijing seeks to reinforce its claims in the strategic waterway.
China’s Ministry of Transport opened the rescue center on Fiery Cross Reef, which is also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines, “to better protect navigation and transport safety in the South China Sea,”. It quoted the ministry as saying the center “will offer better support to maritime rescue operations in the southern part of the South China Sea” near the Spratly chain.
Beijing has built up a series of military outposts in the South China Sea, which includes vital sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes each year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. As part of what some experts say is a concerted bid to cement de facto control of the South China Sea, three of Beijing’s man-made islets in the Spratlys — Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs — all boast military-grade airfields. Recent reports have also said the islets, including Fiery Cross, have emplacements for missiles, extensive storage facilities and a range of installations that can track satellites, foreign military activity and communications. In a bid to offset concerns over the militarization of these islets, China has consistently said the facilities there are for defensive purposes and that the islands themselves are civilian and will provide navigational services to ships in the vicinity. But some observers have expressed concern that the moves could help boost Beijing’s claim of sovereignty over the islets. These moves have seen China build ecological conservation and restoration facilities and marine observation centers on Fiery Cross, Subi and Meiji Reefs. Xinhua has said that the facilities were “providing public services, including marine forecasts and disaster alarms, to the international society and passing vessels.”
In late July, China announced that it would permanently station a search-and-rescue ship at Subi Reef, the largest of China’s seven man-made outposts in the Spratlys and home to a lighthouse and extensive docking facilities. In October, another rescue ship was sent to the region to replace the vessel.