Most rise on hopes of exemptions in U.S. tariff plan


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, shares led the gains with a 0.8% increase, buoyed by top banks.

United Overseas Bank, DBS Group Holdings and Oversea- Corp rose between 0.5% and 1.3%.

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.


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
   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 

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