SINGAPORE, Sept 12 ― Southeast Asian stock markets inched up today, with Malaysian shares hitting their highest in over two months, tracking a rally in Asian peers as Hurricane Irma weakened and concerns over North Korea eased.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose as much as 0.3 per cent to their highest in nearly 10 years, drawing confidence from strong performances on Wall Street in the previous session.
Investors were relieved after damages from Irma, ranked asone of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes recorded, turned out to be smaller than expected. Meanwhile, North Korea chose not to conduct any further missile or nuclear tests.
The United Nations Security Council yesterday unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea over the country’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, imposing a ban on the country’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.
Malaysian shares edged up as much as 0.2 per cent to hit their highest since June 28, lifted by Malayan Banking Bhd, which rose over 1 per cent to a near four-week high.
Thai shares were poised for a nine-session winning streak, underpinned by oil and gas refiner PTT Pcl, which climbed up to 1 per cent.
Singapore shares snapped previous session’s losses to edge higher, but gains were curbed by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, which fell 3.1 per cent to its lowest in over eight years.
Indonesian shares were headed for their fourth straight session of gains, buoyed by Bank Central Asia and Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT.
The index of Indonesia’s 45 most liquid stocks rose as much as 0.2 per cent.
Vietnam shares traded marginally higher, while the Philippine market was closed as authorities suspended financial trading due to floods.
Meanwhile, data showed Philippine exports in the seven months to July rose 13.9 per cent to US$36.6 billion (RM153.8 billion) from a year ago, while imports were up 7.9 per cent at US$51.2 billion from a year ago. ― Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online