Positive Prospects for Stocks

Positive Prospects for Stocks

A few months ago, the Taiwanese stocks continued with their fifth session win which reflected the progress of the country's vaccination. On the other hand, equities in Singapore were slowing down as traders avoided risk exposure after the speech of Fed Chair Jerome Powell Jackson Hole. After rallying for the majority of the week, the majority of emerging Asian equity markets closed flat or lower for months, as investors got alarmed by Fed officials urging the central bank to begin tapering bond purchases. Powell was earlier scheduled to address the Federal Reserve's annual symposium (1400 GMT). Singapore's stock market index fell to a three-month low. "The fear of a 'taper tantrum' has resurfaced, and we head into the weekend with the Middle East geopolitical risk on the rise," said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets. The Philippine peso fell 0.3 per cent against the dollar earlier in the day before recouping some of its losses. "The Philippine peso opened lower today as a result of government comments implying a significantly longer period of subdued activity," said Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING.

According to local media reports, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Karl Kendrick Chua predicted that the Philippines' GDP would return to pre-COVID levels as early as 2023. According to Mapa, the peso's volatility is also a result of foreign exchange trading in the domestic market. Taiwanese stocks surpassed their previous highs for the first time in more than two weeks. The island launched its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine this week, and the government announced that BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccines are now available sooner than anticipated. The South Korean won gained some ground on Thursday after the Bank of Korea raised interest rates. This happened for the first time in three years. Malaysian stocks advanced for a sixth consecutive session, and the ringgit strengthened as fears of political unrest subsided following the country's newly appointed prime minister.

Months ago, the Singapore stock market opened lower, with the Straits Times Index (STI) down 0.3 per cent or 8.92 points to 3,192.94 at 9.03 a.m. Gainers outnumbered losers 80 to 59 after 84.4 million securities worth S$64.6 million changed hands. Keppel Reit (K71U -0.93 per cent) was heavily traded, with 2.7 million units transacting at a value of S$2.9 million. Its unit price remained unchanged at S$1.08 per unit. On Tuesday, the manager reported that its distributable income from operations for the first nine months of 2021 increased by 20.8 per cent year on year to S$159.9 million. Corporation Keppel Keppel Corporation: BN4 -1.64 per cent and Mapletree Logistics Trust: M44U +0.5 per cent were among the index stocks that traded heavily. Keppel's shares closed at S$5.38, down S$0.10 or 1.8 per cent, with 742,100 shares worth S$4 million traded.

The conglomerate announced (after the market closed) that it's offshore and marine subsidiary, Keppel Offshore & Marine, was facing a sui in the United States for a US$819.85 million loss of investment and interest. Mapletree Logistics Trust's units were up S$0.02 or 1% to S$2.01 following the trading of 2.6 million units worth S$5.2 million. The trust reported in a bourse filing after market close on Monday that distribution per unit increased 5.7 per cent to S$0.02173 in Q2 FY21/22. The trio of local banks was all down in early trading. DBS D05 +0.16% fell S$0.07 or 0.2 per cent to S$31.42, UOB U11 -0.52 per cent fell S$0.32 or 1.2 per cent to S$26.56, and OCBC OCBC Bank: O39 -0.17% fell S$0.04 or 0.3 per cent to S$11.95.

Impacting Asia's fortunes, US stock markets set new highs as investors awaited tech company earnings reports and cheered the latest Tesla rally, while European traders awaited the European Central Bank's rate announcement. They also awaited the UK budget later in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased to 64.13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 35,741.15, the S&P 500 gained 21.58 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,566.48, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 136.51 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 15,226.71. Meanwhile, European stocks closed flat, with gains in banks and commodity-related sectors offset by losses in industrial stocks as bond yields rose and the telecom sector deteriorated. Concerns about rising inflation and sluggish economic growth also weighed on the Stoxx 600, which finished mostly unchanged at 472.21 points. In other Asian markets, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains in US stocks, which reached new highs following Tesla's market capitalization surpassing $1 trillion. The Nikkei 225 index increased 1.1 per cent, or 312.84 points, to 28,913.25 points in early trading, while the Topix index increased 0.8 per cent, or 15.27 points, to 2,010.69 points.