Edition:
International

Arundhati Dutta

Australia shares rise as PM flags quicker reopening after COVID-19 vaccine swap

Sep 03 2021

* Investors eye RBA policy meeting next week (Updates to close)

Australian shares end at 2-week low as BHP tumbles on ex-div trade

Sep 02 2021

Sept 2 Australian shares closed at a two-week low on Thursday, dragged by a steep drop in mining giant BHP Group after they traded without access to the next dividend, while a slump in iron ore prices weighed on other mining heavyweights.

Australia shares trim losses on better-than-expected GDP data

Sep 01 2021

Sept 1 Australian shares ended nearly flat on Wednesday, trimming earlier losses after data showed the economy performed better than expected in the June quarter, while declines in heavyweight miners offset gains in gold and energy stocks.

Tech, healthcare help Australia shares notch 2-week closing high

Aug 31 2021

Aug 31 Australian shares rose on Tuesday, driven by technology and healthcare stocks, although a sharp drop in biotech firm Mesoblast due to disappointing earnings kept a lid on gains.

Australia shares edge higher on Fortescue boost, banking losses cap gains

Aug 30 2021

Aug 30 Australian shares edged higher on Monday, led by Fortescue Metals after the miner reported a record annual profit, though losses in heavyweight banking stocks capped gains.

EMERGING MARKETS-Singapore stocks drop 1% as 'taper tantrum' fears resurface

Aug 27 2021

* Philippines, Indonesia edge lower in thin trade * Singapore stocks hit their lowest in over 3 months * Thai stocks up for 6th day as COVID-19 restrictions ease * Most regional currencies strengthen against U.S. dollar By Arundhati Dutta Aug 27 Singapore stocks dropped 1% on Friday as investors cut exposure to riskier assets over concerns of a shift in the U.S. Federal Reserve's pandemic-era accommodative stance and fears of geopolitical instability. Other emerging Asian markets were mixed in a low-volume trade after rallying for most of the week, as investors weighed indications from Fed officials that the central bank may begin paring bond purchases soon. "Markets reckoned they might have been too hasty in brushing aside the Fed's Jackson Hole Economic Symposium as a non-event," DBS analysts said in a note. A dovish tone from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell could counter worries about economic damage from the Delta coronavirus variant and fears about political fallout from a bomb attack in Kabul, possibly spurring bids in riskier currencies against the dollar. An Islamic State suicide bomber killed 85 people, including 13 U.S. soldiers outside the gates of Kabul airport on Thursday. U.S. forces are currently bracing for more attacks. Stocks in Singapore hit their lowest in more than three months. "The 'taper tantrum' syndrome fear has resurfaced, and plus, we head into the weekend with geopolitical risk on the rise in the Middle East," said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets, referring to Singapore equities. Stocks in Taiwan extended gains to a fifth session, helped by a bounce in semiconductor shares worldwide. Last week, the government urged state-run banks to buy stocks to soften the tumble. Currencies in emerging markets strengthened against the dollar, with the Indonesian rupiah being an outlier. The Philippine peso weakened as much as 0.3%, before clawing back later in the day. The peso's lacklustre open was in reaction to comments from authorities suggesting that the Philippines would take longer than expected to emerge from the subdued economic activity, according to Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING. Local media https://mb.com.ph/2021/08/26/ph-economy-needs-two-years-to-recover reported that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua forecast the Philippines could return to pre-COVID GDP levels by as late as 2023. "Sentiment is shifting quickly and affecting foreign buying and selling in the local equity market," Mapa said. Thai stocks extended gains to a sixth day and hit their highest in two months after the country said it would ease some COVID-19 restrictions. Malaysia stocks climbed for a sixth session and the ringgit strengthened as worries over political instability continued to fade after the appointment of the country's new prime minister last Saturday. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 4.3 basis points at 4.681% ** Singapore's 5-year benchmark yield is up 1 basis point at 0.831% ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 1.5 basis points at 1.62% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0716 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.07 -6.14 -0.36 0.72 China <CNY=CFXS -0.02 +0.70 0.59 1.41 > India +0.10 -1.45 0.30 19.34 Indonesi -0.03 -2.64 -0.39 0.93 a Malaysia +0.12 -4.01 0.22 -2.34 Philippi +0.19 -3.82 -0.50 -4.95 nes S.Korea <KRW=KFTC +0.11 -7.10 0.17 9.06 > Singapor +0.24 -2.24 -0.98 8.26 e Taiwan +0.07 +2.03 0.84 16.82 Thailand +0.30 -8.15 0.55 11.14 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

EMERGING MARKETS-Singapore stocks drop 1% as 'taper tantrum' fears resurface

Aug 27 2021

* Philippines, Indonesia edge lower in thin trade * Singapore stocks hit their lowest in over 3 months * Thai stocks up for 6th day as COVID-19 restrictions ease * Most regional currencies strengthen against U.S. dollar By Arundhati Dutta Aug 27 Singapore stocks dropped 1% on Friday as investors cut exposure to riskier assets over concerns of a shift in the U.S. Federal Reserve's pandemic-era accommodative stance and fears of geopolitical instability. Other emerging Asian markets were mixed in a low-volume trade after rallying for most of the week, as investors weighed indications from Fed officials that the central bank may begin paring bond purchases soon. "Markets reckoned they might have been too hasty in brushing aside the Fed's Jackson Hole Economic Symposium as a non-event," DBS analysts said in a note. A dovish tone from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell could counter worries about economic damage from the Delta coronavirus variant and fears about political fallout from a bomb attack in Kabul, possibly spurring bids in riskier currencies against the dollar. An Islamic State suicide bomber killed 85 people, including 13 U.S. soldiers outside the gates of Kabul airport on Thursday. U.S. forces are currently bracing for more attacks. Stocks in Singapore hit their lowest in more than three months. "The 'taper tantrum' syndrome fear has resurfaced, and plus, we head into the weekend with geopolitical risk on the rise in the Middle East," said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets, referring to Singapore equities. Stocks in Taiwan extended gains to a fifth session, helped by a bounce in semiconductor shares worldwide. Last week, the government urged state-run banks to buy stocks to soften the tumble. Currencies in emerging markets strengthened against the dollar, with the Indonesian rupiah being an outlier. The Philippine peso weakened as much as 0.3%, before clawing back later in the day. The peso's lacklustre open was in reaction to comments from authorities suggesting that the Philippines would take longer than expected to emerge from the subdued economic activity, according to Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING. Local media https://mb.com.ph/2021/08/26/ph-economy-needs-two-years-to-recover reported that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua forecast the Philippines could return to pre-COVID GDP levels by as late as 2023. "Sentiment is shifting quickly and affecting foreign buying and selling in the local equity market," Mapa said. Thai stocks extended gains to a sixth day and hit their highest in two months after the country said it would ease some COVID-19 restrictions. Malaysia stocks climbed for a sixth session and the ringgit strengthened as worries over political instability continued to fade after the appointment of the country's new prime minister last Saturday. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 4.3 basis points at 4.681% ** Singapore's 5-year benchmark yield is up 1 basis point at 0.831% ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 1.5 basis points at 1.62% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0716 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.07 -6.14 -0.36 0.72 China <CNY=CFXS -0.02 +0.70 0.59 1.41 > India +0.10 -1.45 0.30 19.34 Indonesi -0.03 -2.64 -0.39 0.93 a Malaysia +0.12 -4.01 0.22 -2.34 Philippi +0.19 -3.82 -0.50 -4.95 nes S.Korea <KRW=KFTC +0.11 -7.10 0.17 9.06 > Singapor +0.24 -2.24 -0.98 8.26 e Taiwan +0.07 +2.03 0.84 16.82 Thailand +0.30 -8.15 0.55 11.14 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

REFILE-EMERGING MARKETS-Singapore stocks fall as investors shun risk ahead of Jackson Hole

Aug 27 2021

(Refiles to fix typo in last bullet in highlights to "Singapore's") * Taiwan stocks hit 2-wk high * Singapore stocks hit lowest in 3 months * Philippine peso volatile due to foreign trading - analyst By Arundhati Dutta Aug 27 Taiwanese stocks extended their winning run to a fifth session on Friday, reflecting the country's vaccine progress over the week, while equities in Singapore fell as traders cut risk exposure ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole speech. Most other equity markets in emerging Asia were flat or lower after rallying for most of the week, as investors were spooked by Fed officials urging the central bank to begin paring bond purchases. Powell will speak at the Fed's annual symposium later on Friday (1400 GMT). The Singapore stock benchmark hit its lowest in three months. "The 'taper tantrum' syndrome fear has resurfaced again and plus we head into the weekend with geopolitical risk on the rise in the Middle East, " said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets. "Most traders do not want to have a significant risk on exposure as we head into Jackson Hole and over the weekend, " he added. The Philippine peso weakened as much as 0.3% against the dollar, before paring some losses later the day. "PHP opened on the backfoot today in reaction to comments from authorities suggesting a much more protracted period of subdued economic activity, " said Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING. Local media https://mb.com.ph/2021/08/26/neda-ph-economy-to-return-to-pre-pandemic-levels-by-end-2022-or-early-2023/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=neda-ph-economy-to-return-to-pre-pandemic-levels-by-end-2022-or-early-2023 reported that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua forecast that the Philippines could return to pre-COVID GDP levels by as late as early 2023. The peso's volatility was also due to foreign trading in the local market, Mapa said. Taiwanese stocks hit their highest in over two weeks. The island launched its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine this week, and on Thursday the government said said BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccines are available earlier than expected. The South Korean won gained some ground after the Bank of Korea hiked interest rates for the first time in three years on Thursday. Malaysia stocks were up for a sixth session and the ringgit strengthened as worries over political instability continued to fade after the appointment of the country's new prime minister last Saturday. HIGHLIGHTS **Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up 2 basis points at 4.744% **Malaysia's 3-year benchmark yield is up 0.1 basis points at 2.363% **Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is unchanged at 1.433% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0425 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.07 -6.14 <.N2 -0.6 0.48 25> China <CNY=CFXS -0.04 +0.68 <.SS 0.49 1.32 > EC> India +0.00 -1.55 <.NS -0.25 18.69 EI> Indonesi -0.10 -2.70 <.JK -0.44 0.88 a SE> Malaysia +0.07 -4.06 <.KL 0.21 -2.35 SE> Philippi +0.23 -3.78 <.PS 0.11 -4.37 nes I> S.Korea <KRW=KFTC +0.16 -7.05 <.KS 0.09 8.98 > 11> Singapor +0.16 -2.32 <.ST -0.81 8.46 e I> Taiwan +0.05 +2.01 <.TW 0.66 16.61 II> Thailand +0.21 -8.24 <.SE 0.43 11.01 TI> (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

REFILE-EMERGING MARKETS-Singapore stocks fall as investors shun risk ahead of Jackson Hole

Aug 27 2021

(Refiles to fix typo in last bullet in highlights to "Singapore's") * Taiwan stocks hit 2-wk high * Singapore stocks hit lowest in 3 months * Philippine peso volatile due to foreign trading - analyst By Arundhati Dutta Aug 27 Taiwanese stocks extended their winning run to a fifth session on Friday, reflecting the country's vaccine progress over the week, while equities in Singapore fell as traders cut risk exposure ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole speech. Most other equity markets in emerging Asia were flat or lower after rallying for most of the week, as investors were spooked by Fed officials urging the central bank to begin paring bond purchases. Powell will speak at the Fed's annual symposium later on Friday (1400 GMT). The Singapore stock benchmark hit its lowest in three months. "The 'taper tantrum' syndrome fear has resurfaced again and plus we head into the weekend with geopolitical risk on the rise in the Middle East, " said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets. "Most traders do not want to have a significant risk on exposure as we head into Jackson Hole and over the weekend, " he added. The Philippine peso weakened as much as 0.3% against the dollar, before paring some losses later the day. "PHP opened on the backfoot today in reaction to comments from authorities suggesting a much more protracted period of subdued economic activity, " said Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING. Local media https://mb.com.ph/2021/08/26/neda-ph-economy-to-return-to-pre-pandemic-levels-by-end-2022-or-early-2023/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=neda-ph-economy-to-return-to-pre-pandemic-levels-by-end-2022-or-early-2023 reported that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua forecast that the Philippines could return to pre-COVID GDP levels by as late as early 2023. The peso's volatility was also due to foreign trading in the local market, Mapa said. Taiwanese stocks hit their highest in over two weeks. The island launched its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine this week, and on Thursday the government said BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccines are available earlier than expected. The South Korean won gained some ground after the Bank of Korea hiked interest rates for the first time in three years on Thursday. Malaysia stocks were up for a sixth session and the ringgit strengthened as worries over political instability continued to fade after the appointment of the country's new prime minister last Saturday. HIGHLIGHTS **Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up 2 basis points at 4.744% **Malaysia's 3-year benchmark yield is up 0.1 basis points at 2.363% **Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is unchanged at 1.433% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0425 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.07 -6.14 <.N2 -0.6 0.48 25> China <CNY=CFXS -0.04 +0.68 <.SS 0.49 1.32 > EC> India +0.00 -1.55 <.NS -0.25 18.69 EI> Indonesi -0.10 -2.70 <.JK -0.44 0.88 a SE> Malaysia +0.07 -4.06 <.KL 0.21 -2.35 SE> Philippi +0.23 -3.78 <.PS 0.11 -4.37 nes I> S.Korea <KRW=KFTC +0.16 -7.05 <.KS 0.09 8.98 > 11> Singapor +0.16 -2.32 <.ST -0.81 8.46 e I> Taiwan +0.05 +2.01 <.TW 0.66 16.61 II> Thailand +0.21 -8.24 <.SE 0.43 11.01 TI> (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

EMERGING MARKETS-S.Korean stocks fall after c.bank rate hike; others flat ahead of Powell speech

Aug 26 2021

* Malaysia stocks up for 5th day * S.Korea lifts interest rates from record low * Thailand, Philippines, India stocks flat By Arundhati Dutta Aug 26 South Korean stocks fell on Thursday after the Bank of Korea (BOK) raised policy rates, making it the first major Asian central bank to move away from pandemic-era monetary easing. Most other equity markets in the region were flat or lower, as investors braced for a more hawkish stance from central banks around the world following the BOK's move to raise interest rates. Investors are also awaiting Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium for clues over any tapering of stimulus measures. The Philippine peso and the South Korean won weakened while other regional currencies were subdued, even as the dollar held near a one-week low. "PHP simply reversing the sharp appreciation move the other day as market positions ahead of the much awaited Jackson Hole Symposium," said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING. "It had rallied sharply previously as foreign players bought up local shares." South Korea's stock benchmark snapped a three-day rally, and the won weakened 0.5% against the dollar. The Bank of Korea raised its policy rate for the first time in almost three years, even as the country reported the highest daily count of COVID-19 deaths for 2021. This raised concerns over further rate hikes from the BOK, and of other central banks following suit, even as the COVID-19 caseload in the region has surged over the past few weeks. "There is a good chance for the next rate hike to come before the incumbent governor leaves office in March 2022, " analysts at DBS said in a note. However, they said policymakers will adopt a gradual and calibrated approach toward interest rate normalisation, taking into account the uncertainties on growth outlook in the next 6-18 months and slowdown risk in China. In Indonesia, the stock benchmark fell 1%, after the country said its budget deficit was 2.04% of the GDP between January and July this year. In Malaysia, the stock benchmark extended gains to a fifth session, and the ringgit was at its strongest in over a month. Analysts at Maybank attributed this to uncertainties over domestic politics finally fading, as new prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob took charge last Saturday after the previous government collapsed due to infighting. HIGHLIGHTS: **Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 5.5 basis points at 4.724% **Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is up 0.8 basis points at 3.25% **Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up 4.2 basis points at 1.443%​​ Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0717 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.12 -6.25 <.N2 0.06 1.09 25> China <CNY=CFXS -0.12 +0.68 <.SS -1.09 0.82 > EC> India +0.02 -1.57 <.NS 0.02 19.00 EI> Indonesi -0.21 -2.67 <.JK -1.11 1.11 a SE> Malaysia +0.26 -4.08 <.KL 0.77 -2.79 SE> Philippi -0.45 -3.89 <.PS -0.02 -4.47 nes I> S.Korea <KRW=KFTC -0.21 -7.20 <.KS -0.58 8.88 > 11> Singapor +0.04 -2.34 <.ST 0.02 9.29 e I> Taiwan +0.03 +2.02 <.TW 0.12 15.85 II> Thailand +0.10 -8.52 <.SE 0.02 10.46 TI> (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

World News

Australia defends its handling of French submarine deal

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia defended its scrapping of a deal for French submarines on Sunday, saying the government had raised concerns to Paris for months, as a new deal with the United States and Britain continued to fuel a multinational diplomatic crisis.