By Christina Martin
March 2 Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Thursday, tracking Asian shares and Wall Street overnight, as
investors took heart from U.S. President Donald Trump's pledge
to invest heavily in infrastructure, cut corporate taxes and
While Trump gave few new details on his tax or spending
plans, investors were encouraged by what they saw as a measured
tone in his first speech to Congress as he tries to push his
growth agenda through a Congress reluctant to widen the
government's budget deficit.
On Wall Street, the Dow blasted through the 21,000 mark for
the first time, and the three main stock indexes surged more
than 1.3 percent to close at record highs.
Shares were up in Asia on Thursday, with MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rising 0.7 percent.
"He did not touch on details but at least he covered
all the points that markets wanted to hear; you know, his aim to
cut tax, to invest up to one trillion dollars in
infrastructure," said Rakpong Chaisuparakul, strategist at KGI
"I think this sent a positive message to the global equity
markets that the U.S. economy has an upside this year. That's
the reason to drive all Asia markets this morning."
In Singapore, the FTSE Straits Times Index rose as
much as 1.1 percent to hit an 18-month high, with financials and
industrials leading the gains.
DBS Group was among the top gainers, climbing
nearly 2 percent. United Overseas Bank Ltd rose 0.7
percent, while Keppel Corp extended gains to hit a
fresh 16-month high.
The Philippines snapped four sessions of losses,
edging 0.7 percent higher, helped by financial stocks.
Ayala Corp and Metropolitan Bank were the
top two performers.
"The markets are expecting a rate hike this month in the
United States, so we have been seeing a lot of outflow in recent
days," said Anton Alfonso, research analyst at RCBC Securities
"But because of the surge on Wall Street last night and
(since) we (Philippine stocks) have been beaten down for the
past four sessions, we are just seeing a rebound today."
Indonesia shares gained as much as 1.3 percent,
outperforming other markets, with gains spread across all
Malaysia shares rose 0.9 percent, boosted by
financial and telecom stocks, with Malayan Banking Bhd
hitting its highest in nine months and telecoms company Axiata
Group Bhd up 2.4 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0435 GMT
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3136.64 3122.77 0.44
Bangkok 1569.87 1567.19 0.17
Manila 7218.72 7170.7 0.67
Jakarta 5427.61 5363.056 1.20
Kuala Lumpur 1712.22 1697.69 0.86
Ho Chi Minh 709.87 709.52 0.05
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3136.64 2880.76 8.88
Bangkok 1569.87 1542.94 1.75
Manila 7218.72 6840.64 5.53
Jakarta 5427.61 5296.711 2.47
Kuala Lumpur 1712.22 1641.73 4.29
Ho Chi Minh 709.87 664.87 6.77
(Reporting by Christina Martin; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)