Singapore, Malaysia shares bounce back in line with broader Asia

The Straits Times

Singapore and Malaysian shares on Thursday bounced back from the previous session’s sharp fall, in line with broader Asia as fears of a full-scale US-China trade war eased after Washington expressed willingness to negotiate a resolution with Beijing.

Other Southeast Asian stock markets also rose in early trade, before trimming their gains. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent.

The sell-down on Wednesday was “a bit too drastic and we are seeing bargain hunting in local markets”, said Joel Ng, a research analyst at KGI Securities in Singapore.

Singapore shares climbed as much as 2.1 per cent with financials leading the recovery.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd rose as much as 2.9 per cent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd jumped 3.3 per cent.

The benchmark stock index slumped 2.1 per cent to its lowestclose in nearly six months on Wednesday.

Malaysian shares gained as much as 1.3 per cent, their most in nearly two months, following a 1.9 per cent plunge in the previous session.

Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd led the recovery with a rise of 1.6 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

Data showed Malaysia’s exports fell for the first time in 18 months in February, due to the effects of shorter working days during the Lunar New Year break. Exports slipped 2 per cent from a year earlier, compared with the 17.9 per cent jump recorded in January. A Reuters poll had forecast an 8.3 per cent gain in February.

Philippine shares rose as much as 0.6 per cent before erasing gains to trade little changed. Gains in industrial stocks were outweighed by losses in financials. JG Summit Holdings Inc rose 1.6 per cent, while Ayala Corp declined 1 per cent.

Government data showed annual inflation quickened faster than expected in March because of increases in food, alcohol, tobacco and utility prices.

The consumer price index rose 4.3 per cent from a year earlier, above the median forecast of 4.2 per cent in a Reuters poll, and exceeding the central bank’s 2 per cent-4 per cent comfort range.

Vietnam shares were down 0.2 per cent after rising as much as 0.6 per cent in early trade, while Thai stocks were slightly higher after rising up to 0.8 per cent.