SINGAPORE, Dec 6 — Most South-east Asian stock markets fell today as overnight losses on Wall Street hurt broader sentiment in Asia, with Singapore falling to its lowest in twoweeks, weighed down by lenders.
US technology stocks stuttered yet again after a brief pickup, with investors switching to banks, retailers and other stocks who are seen likely to benefit from the US tax bill.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.8 per cent, as investors remained cautious to the extent of declines in the US market.
Malaysian shares slipped 0.4 per cent, giving up the previous session’s gains, after data showed exports rose 18.9 per cent in October, beating expectations, on the back of higher demand for manufactured and mining goods.
“2017 is ending as the best year for Malaysia’s trade and external surpluses since 2010,” Prakash Sakpal, Asia economist at ING, wrote in a note, adding that an undervalued currency was among the factors that provided favourable terms of trade.
“We expect Bank Negara Malaysia to be the next in line of Asian central banks to hike after the Bank of Korea, and we forecast a 25bp BNM rate hike in 1Q18,” Sakpal wrote.
Financials dragged the index lower, with Hong Leong Bank losing 5.4 per cent, while Malayan Banking fell 1.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, Indonesian shares rose 0.6 per cent, with the index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks climbing 0.8 per cent.
Financial and consumer discretionary stocks aided the gains on the index, with Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and Astra International Tbk PT rising 1.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.
Philippine stocks rose 0.5 per cent, with heavyweights SM Investment up 1 per cent and Ayala Corp adding 1.4 per cent.
Thai stock market edged lower as trading resumed after yesterday’s holiday, led by losses in consumer staples and financial stocks.
Vietnam shares dropped 0.9 per cent to a week’s low, with consumer staples and real estate stocks weighing on the index.
Vietnam Dairy Products JSC and Vingroup JSC fell 3 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online