Asean stocks mostly firmer
Malaysian shares closed at a record high on Wednesday, led by shares in SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, while most other indexes in Southeast Asia ended firmer, though they surrendered some of the early gains on fears over tighter policy in China after a weak US jobs data report.
Malaysia’s main share index ended 0.6 per cent higher at 1,814.11, its all-time closing high, surpassing an earlier peak close of 1810.00 hit on July 24, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Malaysian oilfield service provider SapuraKencana’s shares jumped 5.4 per cent, outperforming the broader market, after it agreed to pay US$898 million to buy Newfield Exploration Co’s Malaysian oil and gas assets.
Other markets ended moderately firmer as concerns about a weaker US economy after disappointing jobs data on Tuesday kept the gains in check.
Expectations of tighter monetary policy in China also weighed on the markets. Beijing is concerned that unexpected increases in inflation and property prices may be partly attributable to liquidity washing into the interbank market.
Jakarta’s Composite Index gained 0.8 per cent, led by financials. The Philippines’ share index added 0.5 per cent to a more than two-month high.
Vietnam, the region’s best performing index this year, rose 0.7 per cent to its highest since late August, lifted by an optimistic economic outlook, analysts said.
Singapore bucked the trend with the benchmark Straits Times Index ending down 0.2 per cent, led by a 0.8 per cent fall in Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. The index touched a one-month high of 3235.25 in early trade.-- Reuters