Most Asean markets weaken, Singapore at 11-month high on DBS results


  • Markets
  • Monday, 29 Apr 2019

SINGAPORE: Singapore shares touched a near 11-month peak on Monday, boosted by DBS Group Holdings after the lender posted a record quarterly profit, while most other Southeast Asian markets slipped as soft U.S. inflation data eclipsed upbeat GDP numbers.

DBS Group, Southeast Asia's biggest lender, beat estimates to report its highest-ever quarterly profit, sending shares up 2.9 percent to their firmest level since June 2018.
    
The bank's first-quarter results helped boost buying interest in the city-state's financial services stocks, making it the best performing sector and propelling the Singapore's benchmark index to its highest since June 14, 2018. 
    
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd firmed to a nearnine-month high, while United Overseas Bank Ltd saw its best session in nearly four weeks. 
    
However, the rest of Southeast Asia seemed to shrug off upbeat GDP data from the world's largest economy. The burst in U.S. growth was driven by a smaller trade deficit and the largest accumulation of unsold merchandise since 2015, temporary boosters that are seen weighing on the economy later this year.

The U.S. GDP print of 3.2 percent annualised growth should be taken with a "pinch of salt", said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, OANDA. 
    
"Stockpiled inventories accounted for nearly half the number, bringing it much closer to market forecasts. My interpretation is that American businesses are still stockpiling goods as a hedge against a breakdown in U.S.-China trade talks," he added. 
    
Investors maintained a cautious stance ahead of the U.S.Federal Reserve meeting and Chinese factory data due this week. 
    
A dovish turn of the U.S. Federal Reserve coupled with China's pledge to support the economy has allowed Southeast Asian equities to stage a strong rebound this year after posting hefty losses in 2018. 
    
Malaysian stocks slipped 0.4 percent to mark their worst session in nearly two weeks, while Thai shares dipped 0.2 percent. 
    
Energy stocks dominated the losses in Thailand as crude prices dropped again on Monday after slumping 3 percent in the previous session.
    
Index heavyweight PTT PCL slipped 0.5 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production PCL slid 1.1 percent. 
    
Philippines stocks edged lower, while Indonesian shares were little changed. 
    
Vietnam markets were closed for a regional holiday. - Reuters

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