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Ambar Warrick

SE Asia Stocks-Most slip; Indonesia falls most as consumer staples drag

3:25pm IST

* Unilever biggest drag in Indonesia * Ayala Land biggest boost to Philippine index on listing plans By Ambar Warrick April 25 Indonesian shares hit a near 1-1/2-month closing low on Thursday due to a fall in consumer staples counters, as most Southeast Asian stock markets ended down, while Philippines rose on last-minute gains in real-estate companies. Asian shares slipped as a surprise deterioration in German and South Korean economic data rekindled fears of slowing global growth. The selling extended into regional equities as well. The Jakarta stock index dropped 1.2 percent and was the largest loser in the region, following a decline in consumer staple stocks as heavyweight Unilever Indonesia plunged 4.6 percent. Brokerage Maybank Kim Eng said in a note that the company's first-quarter net profit fell below expectations. A decline in Unilever's results points to a weaker environment for local consumer staples, which are the second largest sector on the Jakarta index. Unilever was the largest drag on the index, followed by consumer oriented Astra International and Charoen Pokphand Indonesia. An index of the country's 45 most volatile stocks ended about 1.5 percent lower, implying high volatility over the session. Indonesia's central bank held its benchmark interest rate, as widely expected. Singapore shares ended around 0.4 percent lower on profit taking, after the index ended at a more than 10-month high on Wednesday. For the day, lender DBS Group shed 0.4 percent, while Singapore Technologies Engineering closed 0.3 percent down. Philippine's benchmark, however, ended 0.6 percent higher on last minute gains in real estate stocks, with property developer Ayala Land rising about 3 percent. Charlene Ericka Reyes, officer-in-charge of trading and research at The First Resources Management and Securities Corp said that buyers had entered near the end of the session, and that real estate stocks, namely Ayala and SM Prime, saw net foreign inflows on their future growth plans. Ayala, which is the third largest stock on the index, ended at a record high on extended gains after it flagged plans to list the country's first real estate investment trust for about $500 million. Other real estate majors also saw buying, with SM Prime and Robinsons Land Corp closing up about 2 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3350.28 3362.43 -0.36 Bangkok 1673.32 1673.43 -0.01 Manila 7894.45 7846.99 0.60 Jakarta 6372.787 6447.885 -1.16 Kuala Lumpur 1635.68 1638.01 -0.14 Ho Chi Minh 974.13 976.92 -0.29 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3350.28 3068.76 9.17 Bangkok 1673.32 1563.88 7.00 Manila 7894.45 7466.02 5.74 Jakarta 6372.787 6194.498 2.88 Kuala Lumpur 1635.68 1690.58 -3.25 Ho Chi Minh 974.13 892.54 9.14 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

SE Asia Stocks-Most decline; Indonesia walloped by consumer stocks

9:39am IST

* Jakarta index falls, Unilever Indonesia plunges * Singapore eases from over 10-mth high * Thailand posts mild gains By Ambar Warrick April 25 Indonesian shares fell on Thursday following disappointing corporate results, while Singapore stocks edged lower from a more than 10-month high as benign broader markets were reflected across Southeast Asia. Asian shares trickled lower on resurgent fears of slowing global growth, as well as a softer lead-in from Wall Street overnight. The Jakarta stock index fell 0.7 percent, leading declines in the region as consumer staples fell. Unilever Indonesia plunged for a second straight day and Maybank Kim Eng said the company's quarterly profit declined 5 percent and came slightly below expectations. Unilever is among the top consumer stocks in the country, and any decline in its results points to a weaker operating environment for the second heaviest sector in the Indonesian benchmark. Processed meat producer Charoen Pokphand Indonesia and cigarettes maker Gudang Garam dropped about 4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, while an index of the 45 most liquid Indonesian stocks fell 1 percent, implying high volatility in equities. Investors are also anticipating a rate decision from the Indonesian Central Bank later in the day, with a Reuters poll expecting them to stand pat. Singapore stocks shed about 0.2 percent after ending at their highest since June 2018 on Wednesday. Financials were the largest drag on the index, with lending heavyweights DBS Group and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp falling 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. "The STI saw modest gains of 0.27 percent to close at 3,362.43 yesterday and may consolidate today amid weak cues from Wall Street overnight," OCBC said in a note to clients. Bucking the trend, Thai stocks rose about 0.1 percent, with real estate and financial stocks leading gains. Land and Houses PCL added about 1.8 percent, while credit card provider Krungthai Card PCL rose 1.9 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0034 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3355.44 3362.43 -0.21 Bangkok 1675.82 1673.43 0.14 Manila 7833.22 7846.99 -0.18 Jakarta 6403.051 6447.885 -0.70 Kuala Lumpur 1632.57 1638.01 -0.33 Ho Chi Minh 975.37 976.92 -0.16 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3355.44 3068.76 9.34 Bangkok 1675.82 1563.88 7.16 Manila 7833.22 7466.02 4.92 Jakarta 6403.051 6194.498 3.37 Kuala Lumpur 1632.57 1690.58 -3.43 Ho Chi Minh 975.37 892.54 9.28 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

SE Asia Stocks-Most end higher in line with U.S. rally, Vietnam leads pack

24 Apr 2019

* Vietnam posts best session in about 6 weeks * Malaysia ends at 2-week high on bargain buying By Ambar Warrick April 24 Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Wednesday, led by Vietnam, as an earnings driven rally in U.S. stocks spurred buying, despite broader Asian equities running out of steam by the day's end. Wall Street indices scaled record highs overnight and prompted early gains across most Asian bourses, although residual fears over global growth and Chinese stimulus slowly crept back into markets. "Apparently, we are stuck in a stock market rally that no one likes as you would be troubled to find another record-breaking U.S. session that was received with such low spirited appeal from Asian investors," Stephen Innes, managing partner and head of trading at SPI Asset Management, said in a note. Still, most regional markets held on to the day's gains, with the Vietnam index ending up 0.9 percent at a one-week high in its best session since March 12. Strong U.S. corporate earnings are positive for Vietnam, which serves as a manufacturing hub for a number of American companies. Vietnam Dairy Products JSC and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam were among the top boosts to the index for the day. The Malaysian benchmark ended at a two-week high on bargain buying in most major sectors. Financials and consumer non-staples were among the top boosts for the day. Public Bank ended up 0.2 percent, while Sime Darby Plantation closed around 1 percent higher. The Philippine index closed 0.4 percent higher on strength in industrial and real estate stocks. Industrial conglomerate SM Investments Corp gained 2.2 percent, while Ayala Land Inc closed at a record peak. Ayala Land was among the biggest boosts to the index after it outlined plans to raise about $500 million through what would be the Philippine's first real estate investment trust public offering. Ayala Land's parent, Ayala Corp, also ended about 2 percent higher and pushed up the benchmark. The Indonesian benchmark, however, ended slightly lower on profit taking in consumer staples and financial stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3362.43 3353.47 0.27 Bangkok 1673.43 1671.31 0.13 Manila 7846.99 7818.93 0.36 Jakarta 6447.885 6462.822 -0.23 Kuala Lumpur 1638.01 1627.44 0.65 Ho Chi Minh 976.92 968 0.92 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3362.43 3068.76 9.57 Bangkok 1673.43 1563.88 7.01 Manila 7846.99 7466.02 5.10 Jakarta 6447.885 6194.498 4.09 Kuala Lumpur 1638.01 1690.58 -3.11 Ho Chi Minh 976.92 892.54 9.45 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bangalore; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise as Wall Street gains brew optimism

24 Apr 2019

* Vietnam leads gains * Indonesia dips on profit-taking in major sectors By Ambar Warrick April 24 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday as a swathe of strong U.S. corporate earnings perked up risk appetite and spread positive sentiment across Asia. Asian stock markets tracked record highs on Wall Street as fears of a broader slowdown were assuaged by strong corporate results. Optimism also allowed local markets to shrug off a spike in oil prices. "The performance of Wall Street should be a green light for regional stock markets to track higher this session. Higher oil prices have, somewhat surprisingly, failed to dampen the enthusiasm of Asian markets," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore. Vietnam shares were the strongest performers, rising about 0.7 percent with financials and real estate stocks leading broad-based gains. Stronger earnings on Wall Street bode well for Vietnam, given its position as a manufacturing hub for a number of U.S. companies, such as Hasbro Inc. For the day, Tay Ninh Cable Car Tour Co and Industrial Urban Development JSC were among the biggest boosts to the benchmark. Malaysian index rose for a second straight session after the government's assurance of resilience in the country's economy. Stocks also saw some bargain buying, with the index having touched a more than three-year low last week. Index-heavy lenders Malayan Banking and Public Bank rose about 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. On the other hand, Indonesian stocks eased with consumer staples and telecom stocks seeing some profit-taking after strong gains on Tuesday. Both sectors had seen heavy buying in the previous session on the prospect of steady economic growth in the country and a stable rupiah. Telekomunikasi Indonesia and Unilever Indonesia dropped about 1.3 percent and 0.5 percent respectively, and were among the biggest drags on the local benchmark. An index of the index's 45 most liquid stocks fell about 0.4 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0330 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3356.42 3353.47 0.09 Bangkok 1671.91 1671.31 0.04 Manila 7819.56 7818.93 0.01 Jakarta 6446.528 6462.822 -0.25 Kuala Lumpur 1634.58 1627.44 0.44 Ho Chi Minh 974.27 968 0.65 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3356.42 3068.76 9.37 Bangkok 1671.91 1563.88 6.91 Manila 7819.56 7466.02 4.74 Jakarta 6446.528 6194.498 4.07 Kuala Lumpur 1634.58 1690.58 -3.31 Ho Chi Minh 974.27 892.54 9.16 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia leads gains; Philippines recovers most early losses

23 Apr 2019

* Indonesia bolstered by locally focussed stocks * Philippines recoups most of day's losses on SM Prime Holdings By Ambar Warrick April 23 Indonesia led gains across Southeast Asian stock markets on Tuesday buoyed by prospects of steady economic growth in 2020, while Philippine markets ended slightly lower following a recovery in the country's largest stock. Most regional markets had treaded water during the day due to apprehension over sustained stimulus measures in China, their largest trading partner. A spike in oil prices was also expected to bite local players with large oil imports. However, Indonesian stocks closed nearly 0.8 percent higher after a finance ministry official said the government will target 5.3 percent to 5.6 percent economic growth in 2020, compared with 2019's target of 5.3 percent. For the day, consumer staples and telecom stocks led gains, with Unilever Indonesia adding about 2 percent, while Telekomunikasi Indonesia rose 1.9 percent. Both sectors are heavily reliant on domestic demand. Spirits were also high over the re-election prospects of incumbent President Joko Widodo, along with anticipation ahead of the first-quarter earnings season. Malaysian equities ended 0.3 percent higher after regulators reassured investors that the country's financials markets remained "resilient." The benchmark index recovered after touching a more than three-year low on Thursday. Local assets had taken a beating last week after FTSE flagged a possible exclusion of Malaysia's debt from its World Government Bond Index at the end of a review period in September. For the day, most sectors ended higher. Latex gloves maker Hartalega Holdings was the largest gainer on the index after Kenanga Investment Bank upgraded the stock's rating. Philippine stocks pared most of the day's losses, ending about 0.2 percent lower following a recovery in the index's largest stock, SM Prime Holdings. The property developer ended about 1.8 percent higher after it declared a cash dividend at a shareholder meeting, and outlined about 80 billion Philippine pesos ($1.54 billion) for its expansion plans in 2019. Philippine markets had dropped as much as 0.8 percent in the morning after an earthquake in the country caused some disruption at major urban centres. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3353.47 3357.7 -0.13 Bangkok 1671.31 1673.48 -0.13 Manila 7818.93 7832.43 -0.17 Jakarta 6462.822 6414.743 0.75 Kuala Lumpur 1627.44 1622.06 0.33 Ho Chi Minh 968 965.86 0.22 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3353.47 3068.76 9.28 Bangkok 1671.31 1563.88 6.87 Manila 7818.93 7466.02 4.73 Jakarta 6462.822 6194.498 4.33 Kuala Lumpur 1627.44 1690.58 -3.73 Ho Chi Minh 968 892.54 8.45 ($1 = 52.0500 Philippine pesos) (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia rises; others trade flat-to-lower

23 Apr 2019

* Indonesian stocks rise after profit taking on Monday * Philippine stocks down; trading thin in wake of earthquake By Ambar Warrick April 23 Indonesian stocks rose, while most other Southeast Asian markets traded flat-to-lower on Tuesday as concerns over China slowing its pace of policy easing kept early trading subdued. Chinese stocks had dropped on Monday after comments from top policymakers suggested that monetary easing may be more prudent going forward. Regional markets had seen small movements during the session. Local markets have been especially sensitive to developments in China, given its status as their largest trading partner. Prospects about a stimulus in China, particularly through easier lending and increased industrial production, spurred Southeast Asian markets higher this year. On Tuesday, Indonesian markets rose about 0.4 percent, as consumer stocks led gains with Unilever Indonesia and Astra International adding about 1.4 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Both stocks had seen rampant profit taking on Monday, and are expected to report their quarterly earnings this week. Spirits have been high over the re-election prospects of incumbent leader Joko Widodo, who has promised to ramp up development of domestic infrastructure. On the other hand, Philippine stocks led declines, losing about 0.8 percent with industrials and financials leading broad-based losses. Industrial conglomerate SM Investments Corp shed about 0.7 percent, while financial conglomerate Ayala Corp dropped 1.2 percent. Philippines suspended foreign exchange trading and a treasury bond auction on Tuesday, officials said, due to the impact of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the main island of Luzon, causing disruption in Manila and nearby provinces. Trading volumes in the region were at a fifth of their 30-day average. The Philippine economy is also expected to take a hit from resurgent oil prices, given its large, oil-driven trade deficit. Singapore stocks declined about 0.2 percent, with financials weighing the most. DBS Group, the country's largest lender, shed about 0.2 percent. March inflation data, due later in the day, is expected to have accelerated on to higher transport costs, according to a Reuters poll. However, given Singapore's lukewarm inflation outlook for 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is likely to keep its setting unchanged for the near-term, which could benefit equity markets. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS ON 0338 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3352.35 3357.7 -0.16 Bangkok 1675.3 1673.48 0.11 Manila 7781.18 7832.43 -0.65 Jakarta 6441.697 6414.743 0.42 Kuala Lumpur 1623.01 1622.06 0.06 Ho Chi Minh 965.02 965.86 -0.09 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3352.35 3068.76 9.24 Bangkok 1675.3 1563.88 7.12 Manila 7781.18 7466.02 4.22 Jakarta 6441.697 6194.498 3.99 Kuala Lumpur 1623.01 1690.58 -4.00 Ho Chi Minh 965.02 892.54 8.12 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V)

UPDATE 2-Aussie car dealer AP Eagers offers to buy Automotive Holdings

05 Apr 2019

* Offer at 8 pct premium to Automotive's Thursday close (Adds Automotive Holdings' response, share movement)

EM ASIA FX-Asian units rise as trade war reports boost risk appetites

03 Apr 2019

* Philippine peso leads gains, at strongest level since March 12 * Indian rupee at 2-week high ahead of interest rate decision (Adds details, updates prices) By Ambar Warrick April 3 Most Asian currencies firmed on Wednesday as reports of headway in Sino-U.S. trade talks and easing U.S. bond yields prompted buying of regional risk assets. The Financial Times reported that top officials from Washington and Beijing had resolved most of the issues standing in the way of an agreement. Lower U.S. Treasury yields, plus a slightly weaker dollar and yen, also encouraged stronger risk appetites in Asia. Gao Qi, a forex strategist at Scotiabank, said that given the fears of a global economic slowdown, regional currencies are likely to have near-term gains from reflation policies by major central banks, which could mean "continued portfolio inflows to EM Asia". The Philippine peso was Wednesday's biggest gainer, adding as much as 0.63 percent against the dollar to 52.110, its strongest level since March 12. The central banks of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on Friday will sign an agreement on cooperation to promote trade and investment through local currencies, in a bid to trim exposure to volatile global markets. The Thai baht was largely flat against the dollar. Minutes of the March 20 central bank meeting, released on Wednesday, showed that any further policy tightening would be gradual and dependent on economic performance. In December, the Bank of Thailand raised its benchmark rate for the first time in more than seven years, by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent. The Chinese yuan traded about 0.21 percent higher. The currency, which has been especially sensitive to any news from the trade front, lost more than 5 percent in 2018 due to trade tensions with the U.S. Indonesian markets were closed on Wednesday for a public holiday. INDIAN RUPEE The Indian rupee rose as much as 0.46 percent to a two-week high against the dollar, ahead of a central bank interest rate decision on Thursday. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to cut by 25 basis points, though some analysts believing the country's weakening economic growth and subdued inflation outlook warrant a larger reduction. A Reuters poll saw more than 85 percent of respondents expecting a cut. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar on Wednesday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0623 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.450 111.31 -0.13 Sing dlr 1.353 1.3548 +0.13 Taiwan dlr 30.804 30.843 +0.13 Korean won 1135.100 1136.4 +0.11 Baht 31.750 31.76 +0.03 Peso 52.140 52.44 +0.58 Rupee 68.460 68.75 +0.42 Ringgit 4.079 4.083 +0.11 Yuan 6.709 6.7225 +0.21 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 111.450 109.56 -1.70 Sing dlr 1.353 1.3627 +0.71 Taiwan dlr 30.804 30.733 -0.23 Korean won 1135.100 1115.70 -1.71 Baht 31.750 32.55 +2.52 Peso 52.140 52.47 +0.63 Rupee 68.460 69.77 +1.91 Ringgit 4.079 4.1300 +1.26 Yuan 6.709 6.8730 +2.45 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slip on higher U.S. bond yields, oil prices

02 Apr 2019

* Stronger dollar, bond yields steer funds away from Asia * Indian rupee, Philippine peso dented by oil import costs * South Korean won weakens as inflation rate slows (Adds details, updates prices) By Ambar Warrick April 2 Emerging Asian currencies softened on Tuesday as optimism over the U.S. economy, along with a rise in the dollar and bond yields, increased investor interest in developed markets. Currencies of countries with hefty oil imports, such as the Indian rupee, Philippine peso and Indonesian rupiah, were also hurt by crude prices reaching a 2019 peak. Asian markets had strengthened on Monday after encouraging China factory surveys hinted that domestic stimulus easing some of the pressure from its trade war with the U.S. Overnight, an uptick in American manufacturing data saw U.S. bond yields and the dollar move higher. Mizuho Bank's Vishnu Varathan said in a note that the positive data "helped to assuage fears of a deep recession." But he took a cautionary tone, adding "the trouble with silver linings is that the clouds have yet to lift, even if bets mount on the sunshine behind. So EM Asia optimism may be measured, not manic." At 0455 GMT Tuesday, the Chinese yuan was down about 0.12 percent to the dollar. The People's Bank of China set a slightly weaker mid-point for the day, compared to Monday's close. The yuan has gained about 2.3 percent this year. The Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.11 percent against the dollar. While a spike in oil prices usually hurts the rupiah, given the country's large oil bill, there has been encouraging economic data recently, including February's surprise trade surplus and a March inflation rate below the Indonesian central bank's target. The South Korean won declined 0.29 percent versus the dollar, as inflation for March slowed to its weakest pace since July 2016. South Korea's central bank chief on Monday clarified that it was not in a hurry to ease policy further, contrary to expectations in the bond market. INDIAN RUPEE, PHILIPPINE PESO Oil prices were spurred by demand prospects and supply disruptions to their highest since November 2018. The Indian rupee fell about 0.20 percent and the Philippine peso declined 0.25 percent. Both currencies are especially sensitive to oil prices given their vast current account deficits, a large portion of which comes from oil imports. Voting in Indian elections begins this month and a budget impasse in the Philippines are expected to weigh on the respective currencies in the near-term. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar as at 0455 GMT. Change on the day at 0455 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.340 111.34 +0.00 Sing dlr 1.356 1.3545 -0.09 Taiwan dlr 30.842 30.801 -0.13 Korean won 1137.000 1133.7 -0.29 Baht 31.750 31.71 -0.13 Peso 52.500 52.37 -0.25 Rupiah 14235.000 14220 -0.11 Rupee 69.290 69.15 -0.20 Ringgit 4.082 4.079 -0.07 Yuan 6.721 6.7125 -0.12 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 111.340 109.56 -1.60 Sing dlr 1.356 1.3627 +0.52 Taiwan dlr 30.842 30.733 -0.35 Korean won 1137.000 1115.70 -1.87 Baht 31.750 32.55 +2.52 Peso 52.500 52.47 -0.06 Rupiah 14235.000 14375 +0.98 Rupee 69.290 69.77 +0.69 Ringgit 4.082 4.1300 +1.18 Yuan 6.721 6.8730 +2.26 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Australian shares bolstered by miners; NZ inches up to record high

18 Mar 2019

March 18 Australian shares rose on Monday as stronger commodity prices lifted iron ore miners and gains on Wall Street boosted investor confidence.

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