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||Asean Affairs 19 March 2013
ASEAN Market Update
Some good news for ASEAN out of China yesterday, Li Keqiang, 57, was appointed Chinese premier on Friday. He takes on the role at a time when China is the world's second-largest economy. He is the first premier born after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and holds dual academic degrees in economics and law.
During his five-year tenure as vice-premier, Li was widely acclaimed for his acumen and determination in facing challenges, and his professionalism. He made remarkable achievements in overcoming difficulties, and he sought to accelerate the economy, improve people's livelihoods and deepen reforms.
Three decades of rapid development have made China a middle-income country. However, the nation is still on a difficult journey with many obstacles ahead. Building a moderately prosperous society by 2020 in a country with a population of over 1.3 billion will be an epic and historic task.
Li is focused on strong regional growth to underpin his China plans, and that should result in stronger Inter-Asian trade.
Europe is all bad news and that will not change anytime soon, the mess there is out of control and we can expect more market shocks in 2013 from the failing Eurozone.
The weekend announcement out of Cyprus came after the S&P 500 ended its 10th positive week in the last 11, and investors on Wall Street took the chance to cash in some of the recent gains. Including Monday's modest decline, the S&P 500 is on track to post its best quarter in a year.
Cypriot ministers were trying to revise a plan to seize money from bank deposits before a parliamentary vote on Tuesday that will secure the island's financial rescue or could lead to its default.
European officials have said the measure is a one-off for a country that accounts for just 0.2 percent of European output. The fear is that savers in larger European countries become nervous and start withdrawing funds, although there was no immediate sign of that on Monday.
Yesterday in Asia
Tokyo fell 2.71 percent, or 340.32 points, to end at 12,220.63, Sydney slipped 2.05 percent, or 104.8 points, to 5,015.4, a two-week low, while Seoul ended 0.92 percent lower, sliding 18.32 points to 1,968.18.
Hong Kong lost 2 percent, or 449.75 points, to end at 22,083.36 and Shanghai shed 1.68 percent, or 38.38 points, to 2,240.02.
– Singapore fell 0.90 percent, or 29.58 points, to 3,256.47.
Real estate giant Capitaland gained 1.77 percent to Sg$3.46 while United Overseas Bank shed 0.45 percent to Sg$19.81.
– Taipei slumped 1.47 percent, or 116.15 points, to 7,811.34.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 2.4 percent lower at Tw$100.5, while leading smartphone maker HTC rose 2.3 percent to Tw$240.0.
– Manila lost 1.78 percent, or 118.42 points, to 6,536.18.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone slipped 1.8 percent to 2,790 pesos and SM Investments plunged 4.2 percent to 1,033 pesos.
– Wellington fell 1.05 percent, or 46.03 points, to 4,341.02.
Fletcher Building eased 3.83 percent to NZ$8.80 and Contact Energy was down 1.25 percent at NZ$5.52 but Telecom rose 2.24 percent to NZ$2.28.
– Jakarta eased 0.34 percent, or 16.50 points, to 4,802.83.
Cigarette producer Gudang Garam fell 1.62 percent to 48,450 rupiah, Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper slid 1.11 percent to 890 rupiah, and retailer Ramayana Lestari Sentosa dipped 0.74 percent to 1,340 rupiah.
– Kuala Lumpur slipped 0.39 percent, or 6.28 points, to 1,621.36.
YTL Corp. fell 4.8 percent to 1.60 and UEM Land shed 2.0 percent to 2.48.
– Bangkok lost 0.41 percent, or 6.48 points, to 1,591.65.
Bangkok Land Public Co. dropped 5.61 percent to 2.02 baht but Thai Airways International jumped 7.62 percent to 28.25 baht.
– Mumbai fell 0.69 percent, or 134.36 points, to 19,293.20.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
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