Singapore: STI Index (.STI) falls on telecom, consumer stocks
Philippine stocks rose over 1% on Wednesday, recovering from the previous session’s sharp fall on hopes of positive news from President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China, while other Southeast Asian markets were tepid amid lingering trade war worries.
The benchmark Manila stock index closed 1.3% higher, helped the real estate sector. It had declined 1.8% on Tuesday amid fears the government may halt online gambling operations.
The market benefited from expectations of positive developments regarding China’s call for a ban on online gaming companies in the Philippines, during Duterte’s visit to Beijing, said Rachelle Cruz, a research analyst with AP Securities.
Offshore gaming operations, or POGOs, have benefited the Philippine economy immensely, boosting property demand and retail spending. Meanwhile, other Southeast Asian markets traded in a tight range as a trade dispute between the United States and China drags on.
Beijing on Tuesday denied there had been any recent phone calls with U.S. officials, effectively refuting Washington’s earlier claim that there had been contact.
China’s top trade negotiator, Liu He, though had said on Monday that his country was looking for “calm” negotiations to resolve the dispute. Market participants “seemed to be getting tired of the volatility caused by trade-related headlines”, said Liu Jinshu, director of research at Singapore-based Tayrona Financial Pte Ltd.
The outlook is pretty mixed as the market seems to be waiting out the implementation of tariffs in September or further action from the U.S. Federal Reserve before making moves, Liu added.
Trading volumes were also low as a deepening inversion of the U.S. bond yield curve a day earlier stoked fears of a recession. Thai stocks rose slightly, helped most by the energy sector.
Gas explorer and distributor PTT PCL advanced 0.6%, while PTT Exploration and Production PCL gained 1.3%.
Optimism from the Thailand Focus investor summit helped markets while the energy sector benefited from an upturn in oil prices, said Teerada Charnyinyong, an investment strategist with Phillip Capital Thailand.
Telecom and consumer stocks dragged Singapore’s benchmark index down slightly. Singapore Telecommunications lost 1.6%, while conglomerate Jardine Cycle & Carriage was down 1.9%.
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