ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
ASEAN Markets to Come Under Pressure
By Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.The S&P 500 has climbed 12 percent this year, with technology and financial stocks posting the biggest gains. Investor optimism that global central banks will take actions to stimulate growth has pushed the gauge up since June 1. At the same time, trading volume and volatility have dropped this month as vacationing traders await policy clues from the Federal Reserve’s annual summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, beginning Aug. 30 and a European Central Bank meeting in September.
Growth was 3.3% in the second quarter, compared to the previous three months. Analysts had forecast growth of 1.7%.
Thailand has taken various measures to boost domestic demand to help recover from last year's devastating floods.
Analysts said the steps had helped offset a decline in global demand for exports.
"Thailand is one of the more resilient economies compared with its Asian peers with regards to the risk and headwinds from the US and Europe," Philip Wee of DBS bank told the BBC's Asia Business Report.
Compared with the same period last year, the economy grew by 4.2%
Singapore's economy may continue to see downside risks from the debt crisis in Europe and weakness in the US economy, but some economists say the city state could still see some upside.
This was due to the growth prospects of its regional neighbours.
Analysts say they are surprised by the narrowing of the GDP growth forecast for the year to between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent, as announced by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day message.
The figures comes in below analysts' expectations. Standard Chartered, for instance, has a projection of 2.8 per cent.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry had forecast GDP growth to be between 1 per cent and 3 per cent earlier this year.
Some economists believe the Singapore's economy may have expanded slightly in the second quarter, based on the 1.7 per cent growth in the first half.
While the ongoing crisis in Europe will continue to dampen sentiment and negative news from the US will spook consumer and investors, economists say one key growth driver will be the pick up in China.
Local stock trading is forecast to remain weak when the market reopens Wednesday as investors scramble for leads in an abbreviated trading week.
Markets were closed Monday due to a holiday ending the Muslim holy month and Tuesday, having been declared Ninoy Aquino Day.
In a research note to its clients, AB Capital Securities said sentiment this week would likely be driven by developments abroad, given that the local earnings season has already ended.
“One important event [this] week will be the Federal Reserve’s release of Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes, which will give insights into the US financial and economic conditions for the month,” AB Capital’s Gregg Adrian Ilag said.
He noted, however, that stocks on the Philippine Stock Exchange were now trading at an average of 16 times their earnings on a per-share basis, which he said was a premium to historical valuations.
Sydney rose 0.44 percent, or 19.1 points, to 4,383.4, while Seoul closed 0.16 percent, or 3.09 points, lower at 1,943.22.
Hong Kong was flat, edging down 4.18 points, to close at 20,100.09 as traders shifted focus to a flurry of corporate earnings reports out this week, while Shanghai closed up 0.54 percent, or 11.31 points, to 2,118.27.
– Taipei rose 1.01 percent, or 74.90 points, to 7,506.81.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. gained 1.46 percent to Tw$83.6 while Hon Hai Precision was 1.30 percent higher at Tw$85.9.
– Wellington climbed 0.73 percent, or 26.65 points, to 3.687.74.
Telecom Corp. gained 2.4 percent to NZ$2.805 while Fletcher Building rose 1.4 percent to NZ$6.66.
– Bangkok edged up 0.27 percent, or 3.29 points, to 1,232.29.
Department store owner CPN gained 3.03 percent to 51 baht, while PTT lost 0.29 percent to 341 baht.
– Singapore climbed 0.12 percent, or 3.66 points, to 3,065.77.
Asia Pacific Breweries rose 4.81 percent to Sg$53.00 and Singapore Telecommunications gained 1.82 percent to Sg$3.35.
– India’s Sensex Index rose 1.10 percent, or 194.18 points, to 17,885.26, partly because of expectations that fiscal reforms will soon be implemented by the government, analysts said.
– Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Manila were closed for public holidays.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Linda Johnson, Business Development Director - Private Client Group, Heffernan Capital Management
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