Creep higher; Singapore hits 14-mth high

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(Jan 24): Most Southeast Asian stock markets eked out gains on Tuesday, as investors weighed the possible effects of U.S. President Donald Trump formally withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Trump signed an executive order pulling the U.S. out of the 12-nation TPP, distancing it from its Asian allies, even as China's influence in the region rises. 

"Southeast Asian markets are mostly still up. Everybody is still trying to digest the actual effects of the withdrawal," said Theodore Tan, broker and analyst with AP Securities.

Trump, who wants to boost U.S. manufacturing, said he would like to cut corporate taxes, but warned American manufacturers of penalties if they moved production outside the country. 

"Of course, Trump wants to sound good to the American people on his first day and it has always been his stance to 'put America first', but it won't be that easy to penalize companies for building outside America," Tan added.

Singapore rose as much as 0.5%, hitting a 14-month high, with financials accounting for more than half of the gains.

The financial sector was boosted by the city state's biggest lender by market-cap, DBS Group Holdings, which climbed as much as 1.7% to touch a 17-month high.

Singapore's all-items consumer price index (CPI) in December rose 0.2% from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday.  The consumer price index rose for the first time in more than two years, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

In other markets, Vietnam edged higher, rising as much as 0.6% to hit a 16-week high, driven by gains in financials and utilities.

Oil and gas refiner PetroVietnam Gas jumped as much as 3.3%, its biggest intra-day percentage gain in more than a month.

Indonesia rose more than half a percent, with financials and telecom stocks leading the gains.

Bucking the trend, the Philippines was back in the red, after closing at a near three-month high on Monday.

Conglomerate Ayala Land was the biggest drag on the benchmark, sliding as much as 3.3%.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS:
Change at 0417 GMT

Market Current previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3039.72 3025.48 0.47
Bangkok 1578.63 1570.79 0.50
Manila 7368.18 7374.35 -0.08
Jakarta 5279.496 5250.968 0.54
Kuala Lumpur 1677.71 1671.31 0.38
Ho Chi Minh 690.8 687.15 0.53

Change this year

Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3039.72 2880.76 5.52
Bangkok 1578.63 1542.94 2.31
Manila 7368.18 6840.64 7.71
Jakarta 5279.496 5296.711 -0.33
Kuala Lumpur 1677.71 1641.73 2.19
Ho Chi Minh 690.8 664.87 3.90