Most South-east Asian stocks rise on upbeat tech sector

Most South-east Asian stocks rise on upbeat tech sector


SINGAPORE,.  Most South-east Asian stocks rose today, in line with broader Asian peers that firmed on resilience in technology stocks, with Singapore and Malaysia snapping at least three days of losses and Philippine shares gaining more than 1 per cent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.6 per cent, with information technology shares rising 1.4 per cent.

Philippine shares climbed 1.1 per cent, their biggest intraday gain in over one week. Real estate stocks SM Investments Corp rose as much as 1.7 per cent, while Ayala Land was up 2.5 per cent ahead of their quarterly results later in the day.

“The market is positive about the upcoming GDP report…,” said Jose L. Vistan, research head at AB Capital Securities.

The Philippines was one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies in 2017, expanding 6.7 per cent, on strong domestic demand, exports and government spending and momentum is expected to continue this year.

“We should do 7 per cent (GDP growth rate) or possibly even better. So, investors are positioning for that,” Vistan said.

Singapore snapped three straight sessions of losses, with industrials pushing up the index. Jardine Strategic Holdings gained as much as 3 percent, while Venture Corp climbed 4.6 per cent.

Indonesia’s main index lost as much as 2.1 per cent to a near nine-month low after the growth pace of South-east Asia’s largest economy fell slightly in January-March from the previous quarter.

An index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks fell 2.7 per cent.

The Indonesian rupiah dropped to its lowest against the US dollar in more than two years. Data from Bank Indonesia also showed that foreign investors held about 39 per cent of Indonesian government bonds as at the end of March.

Emerging markets have come under pressure of late from foreign outflows as rising US treasury bond yields reduced investor appetite for riskier asset classes.

“With improving fundamentals, we think extended positioning amid higher US Treasury yields and US dollar were the main drivers,” Morgan Stanley said in a note

“”Higher volatility is likely to stay yet we push back against the notion that EM (emerging market) is no longer an attractive asset class.”

Malaysian shares snapped four sessions of losses to rise 0.7 per cent, led by financials.

The market is closed tomorrow for general elections.

— Reuters