South East Asian stock markets edged up on Wednesday, tracking gains in Asian peers, as investors looked to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s news conference later in the day for clues on his policies.
While Trump’s plan for tax cuts and infrastructure spending has boosted U.S. shares and the dollar, his protectionist statements during the months-long election campaign have kept many investors on edge. “We are vulnerable to Trump’s protectionist policies, so I think investors will be closely watching that,” said Victor Felix, an analyst with AB Capital Securities, adding that foreign buying was back after significant outflows over the past two-three months.
Singapore shares were 0.3 percent higher, extending gains into a seventh session. Telecommunication services providers were the top performers followed by consumer goods. Singtel rose as much as 1.6 percent and was headed for a sixth consecutive session of gains.
Philippine shares fell after hitting a two-and-a-half-month high earlier and were headed for their first decline in seven sessions as investors chose to book profits. The market has rallied a lot and too fast, so “investors are taking profits right now, letting it cool off”, said Felix. “Foreign investors see that the Philippines will be able to weather whatever protectionist policies Trump might have, mainly because of the strong GDP growth rate.”
Financials and utilities led the decline with property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc and Metro Pacific Investments Corp shedding 0.6 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0432 GMT
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3016.04 3006.02 0.32
Kuala Lumpur 1674.21 1672.05 0.13
Change this year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3016.04 2882.76 4.6
Kuala Lumpur 1674.21 1641.73 2.0