November 8, 2019 / 8:56 AM / 7 days ago

Asian equities see biggest foreign inflow in 6 months in October

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Foreign investors stepped up buying in Asian equities in October as risk sentiment improved on signs that China and the United States were closer to an interim trade deal, soothing concerns about a slowdown in the region.

Overseas investors bought $5.46 billion worth of regional equities in the last month, the highest in six months, data from stock exchanges in South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam showed.

However, the inflows went mostly to equities markets in Taiwan and India.

Taiwan received $4.45 billion worth of foreign money, bolstered by its solid economic growth and rising exports. The island economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year during the July to September quarter.

“The (Taiwanese) economy may have started to benefit from the trade diversion and investment repatriation effects of the China-U.S. trade war,” DBS bank said in a report.

India equities attracted $1.74 billion last month, propped up by strong earnings growth in the September quarter by its top companies such as IT services firm HCL Technologies Ltd , consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever and manufacturing-to-software conglomerate L&T.

The Philippines also had some marginal inflows last month.

However, Indonesian, Thai and South Korean equities faced outflows in October due to concerns over their economic growth.

Indonesia’s economic growth slipped to its weakest pace in more than two years in the third quarter, while South Korea also reported slower-than-expected growth.

However, analysts are optimistic about flows into emerging equities, with many expecting an initial trade deal to be signed between the world’s top two economies this month.

China and the United States have agreed to roll back tariffs on each other’s goods in a “phase one” trade deal if it is completed, officials from both sides said on Thursday.

“With greater interests displayed by both U.S. and China in sustaining the ceasefire, we could be seeing these flows into Asia equities sustaining towards the U.S.-China ‘phase one’ trade deal establishment,” said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based market strategist with financial services firm IG.

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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