Most SE Asia stocks firm, tracking broader Asia

Singapore shares rose as much as 1.1 per cent, boosted by financials. — Reuters pic
Singapore shares rose as much as 1.1 per cent, boosted by financials. — Reuters pic

BENGALURU, Feb 15 — Most Southeast Asian stock markets firmed today, tracking broader Asia, with Singapore surging after data showed a faster-than-expected growth in exports last month, while the Philippines fell after two days of strong gains.

Asian stocks rose after Wall Street posted gains overnight, brushing aside strong US inflation data, while Treasury yields jumped in anticipation of more rapid US interest rate hikes. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.3 per cent by 0400 GMT.

“People are starting to reassess, even with higher inflation numbers, even with higher yields, as long as earnings growth continues to be positive, it’s enough to offset the higher yields,” said Joel Ng, a research analyst at KGI Securities in Singapore.

Valuations in Asia especially are cheaper compared to US markets and a lot of companies have been raising dividends lately, Ng added. Singapore shares rose as much as 1.1 per cent, boosted by financials. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd climbed 4.1 per cent, while United Overseas Bank Ltd rose 3.1 per cent.

The city-state’s annual non-oil domestic exports in January surged 13 per cent, beating analysts’ 9 per cent growth estimate, as sales of petrochemical products jumped, suggesting broadening domestic economic growth.

Malaysian shares rose as much as 0.4 per cent, on track to end higher for a fourth consecutive session, on the back of gains in consumer staples and financials.

Palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation Bhd climbed 2 per cent, while financial firm CIMB Group Holdings Bhd gained 1.2 per cent. Indonesian stocks gained as much as 0.5 per cent, with materials and energy sectors rising on the back of strong commodity prices. Coal miner Adaro Energy Tbk PT rose 2.5 per cent, while nickel miner Vale Indonesia Tbk PT climbed 3.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, Philippine shares fell as much as 0.9 per cent, after gaining 1.3 per cent over the last two sessions.

Telecom service provider PLDT Inc lost as much as 2.4 per cent, while BDO Unibank Inc fell 1.3 per cent.

Vietnam stock market was closed for a holiday. — Reuters

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