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||Asean Affairs 20 March 2013
ASEAN Market Outlook
As we said Sunday it is a bumpy week in ASEAN, today we should open lower after a very choppy US session, this is not the week to be buying equities in general. Locally the news is good, especially in China.
Investment in China on the Rise
Foreign direct investment rebounded in February after dropping for eight consecutive months, signaling improving investor sentiment and confidence in the new leadership, analysts said.
FDI rose 6.32 percent year-on-year in February to $8.21 billion. This was the smallest monthly inflow for seven months, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.
January's inflow was $9.27 billion, down 7.3 percent from a year earlier. And FDI in the January-February period fell 1.35 percent year-on-year to $17.48 billion, according to the ministry.
"The FDI rebound in February is good news and, in some way, an acknowledgement of China's economic competitiveness and global investor recognition of the country's investment environment and development prospects," Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said.
He added that figures for the first two months cannot tell the whole year's picture and "our general judgment is that FDI will expand stably with no big ups or downs".
FDI is an important gauge of the external economy to which China's vast factory sector is oriented, though it is a small contributor to China's overall capital inflow compared with exports, which were worth about $2 trillion in 2012.
"The rebound indicates global investors are more optimistic about China's economic outlook ... and there is growing confidence that the new leadership will introduce practical reform measures," said Huo Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a think tank affiliated to the Ministry of Commerce.
"Measures are likely to be introduced to enhance the environment for foreign enterprises in China," Huo said.
Tokyo jumped 2.03 percent, or 247.60 points, to end at 12,468.23, Seoul gained 0.53 percent, or 10.38 points, to 1,978.56 and Shanghai climbed 0.78 percent, or 17.41 points, to 2,257.43.
However, Hong Kong suffered a late sell-off to end 0.19 percent lower, shedding 41.50 points to 22,041.86, while Sydney dropped 0.56 percent, or 28.0 points, to 4,987.4.
– Taipei rose 0.35 percent, or 27.13 points, to 7,838.47.
HTC rose 3.75 percent to Tw$249.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. fell 0.5 percent to Tw$100.0.
– Manila closed 1.68 percent lower, shedding 109.93 points to 6,426.25.
BDO Unibank dropped 2.69 percent to 83.20 pesos and SM Investments fell 2.23 percent to 1,010 pesos, while Ayala Land lost 1.86 percent to 29 pesos.
– Wellington was flat, edging up 4.02 points to 4,345.04.
Sky Television rose 2.46 percent to N$5.41 and Chorus was up 1.74 percent at NZ$2.92, while Telecom was steady at NZ$2.28.
– Bangkok fell 1.47 percent, or 23.40 points, to 1,568.25.
Supermarket operator Siam Makro dropped 3.88 percent to 496 baht, while oil company Bangchak Petroleum lost 2.72 percent to 35.75 baht.
– Jakarta climbed 0.41 percent, or 19.80 points, to 4,822.63.
Astra Agro Lestari rose 1.37 percent to 18,500 rupiah, Indosat gained 3.23 percent to 6,400 rupiah, while Indofood Sukses Makmur lost 1.33 percent to 7,400 rupiah.
– Kuala Lumpur gained 0.25 percent, or 4.10 points, to 1,625.46.
British American Tobacco rose 3.2 percent to 62.44 ringgit while IHH Healthcare slipped 1.5 percent to 3.39 ringgit.
– Singapore rose 0.39 percent, or 12.66 points, to 3,269.13.
DBS Bank gained 0.45 percent to Sg$15.50 and Singapore Airlines climbed 0.28 percent to Sg$10.91.
– Mumbai fell 1.48 percent, or 285.10 points, to 19,008.10.
India’s biggest mobile phone firm Bharti Airtel fell 4.74 percent to 293.4 rupees and Sterlite, the local arm of Vedanta Group, slid 3.79 percent to 92.75.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
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