asian markets: Singapore hits over one-month closing high

Most southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday as

higher crude prices and positive sentiment from overnight gains on Wall Street

drove up shares in the region, while Singapore closed at an over one-month high.

U.S. banking shares rallied after the Fed approved plans from the 34 largest

lenders to use extra capital for stock buybacks, dividends and other purposes.

Meanwhile, crude oil rose for a sixth straight session to its highest since

June 19 on a decline in U.S. output.

“Last week, there was concern with lower-than-expected inventories and so

forth. Now that oil prices have stabilized, the market is reacting positively,”

said Victor Felix, an equity analyst with AB Capital Securities.

 

Singapore shares closed 1.3 percent higher as heavyweights DBS Group

Holdings and United Overseas Bank gained 2.5 percent each.

Singapore’s central bank said its investment gains on official foreign

reserves quadrupled to S$21.9 billion ($15.80 billion) in the last financial

year, helped by a recovery in the global financial market.

Vietnam shares rose 0.4 percent as Joint Stock Commercial Bank for

Investment and Development of Vietnam rose 1.8 percent and Military

Commercial Joint Stock Bank gained 2.3 percent.

Philippine shares closed 0.9 percent lower at an over one-month low,

dragged by the real estate and telecommunications sectors.

PLDT and Ayala Land fell 3.6 percent and 2.3 percent,

respectively.

 

“The Philippine peso is weakening against the dollar. That is also putting

pressure on equities,” Felix added.

Investors have trimmed their long positions in most Asian currencies

compared with two weeks ago, a Reuters poll showed, amid jitters that the

European Central Bank may be getting ready to reduce its aggressive monetary

stimulus.

Indonesia’s financial markets were closed on account of a national

holiday.

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