BENGALURU (March 8): Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in thin trade on Thursday, on news U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium may exclude some major trade partners, including Canada and Mexico, soothing fears of an impending trade war.
Worries of a trade war were rekindled on Wednesday after a free trade proponent at the Trump administration, Gary Cohn, announced his departure, sending markets down.
“… White House Press Secretary (Sarah Huckabee) Sanders did some damage control by suggesting that there are “potential carve outs for Canada and Mexico based on national security, and possibly other countries as well…”,” OCBC Bank said in a note.
Risk appetite, however, continues to be lower on the implications of the proposed tariff, it added.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares led the gains with a 0.8% increase, buoyed by top banks.
The Indonesian benchmark equity index, which dropped more than 2% in the previous session, was 0.3% higher. Bank Central Asia boosted the index the most, ahead of annual results later in the day.
Telekom Indonesia logged gains of 1.5%.
An index of the country’s most liquid stocks rose as much as 1.3%.
The Thai index fell for a seventh straight session, as energy stocks slumped. PTT Pcl and IRPC Pcl slipped 0.7% and 1.3% respectively.
Philippine stocks lost 0.6%, as financial stocks such as BDO Unibank and Ayala Corp shed over 2% each.
Asia shares excluding Japan were 0.8% higher.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0348 GMT
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3478.04 3450.69 0.79
Bangkok 1779.58 1781.64 -0.12
Manila 8355.74 8404.69 -0.58
Jakarta 6423.602 6368.267 0.87
Kuala Lumpur 1843.43 1837.9 0.30
Ho Chi Minh 1115.99 1112.26 0.34
Change on year
Market Current End 2017 Pct Move
Singapore 3478.04 3402.92 2.21
Bangkok 1779.58 1753.71 1.48
Manila 8355.74 8558.42 -2.37
Jakarta 6423.602 6355.654 1.07
Kuala Lumpur 1843.43 1796.81 2.59
Ho Chi Minh 1115.99 984.24 13.39
Source: The Edge