South-east Asia stocks tread water ahead of US-N. Korea summit, central bank meetings

Philippine shares recover from an early fall of 0.5 per cent to trade slightly higher. — Reuters pic
Philippine shares recover from an early fall of 0.5 per cent to trade slightly higher. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, June 11 — South-east Asian stock markets trod water today ahead of a US-North Korea summit that could lay the groundwork for ending a nuclear stand-off between the old foes, while investors also started to focus on key central bank meetings later this week.

Also, weighing on investor sentiment were fears of a trade spat after US President Donald Trump took aim at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Group of Seven summit over the weekend, adding he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry.

Trudeau spoke of retaliatory measures that Canada would take next month in response to Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 per cent.

In South-east Asia, Philippine shares recovered from an early fall of 0.5 per cent to trade slightly higher.

SM Investments Corp fell as much as 1.6 per cent, while JG Summit Holdings Inc climbed 2.8 per cent.

Trump's refusal to back down from trade tariffs might have caused slight negative sentiment in the local market, said Fio De Jesus, an equity research analyst with RCBC Securities in Manila.

Investors are now looking at what progress the Trump administration would be able to achieve with regards to North Korea's nuclear programme, added the analyst.

The Philippine market will be closed tomorrow for Independence Day.

Malaysian shares also came off early falls, to trade 0.5 per cent higher. Malayan Banking Bhd fell as much as 1.4 per cent, while Genting Malaysia Bhd rose 1.6 per cent.

Malaysia's industrial production index rose 4.6 in April from a year earlier, supported by gains in all three major sectors, government data showed.

Singapore shares rose as much as 0.5 per cent before paring gains to trade slightly higher, while Vietnam shares rose for an eighth straight session.

Thai shares recovered from early falls to trade little changed. PTT PCL fell nearly 1 per cent.

Indonesian financial markets are closed from June 11 to June 19 for Eid Al-Fitr celebrations. — Reuters