South-east Asian stocks held ground on Tuesday, with Philippine and Singapore shares hitting one-week highs, as markets consolidated recent gains in the absence of fresh catalysts. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.21 percent at 0343 GMT, unaffected by an explosion in the English city of Manchester that left at least 19 people dead and over 50 injured.
“Stocks had rallied quite a bit yesterday, so it makes sense for them to see some consolidation today,” said Joseph Roxas, an analyst with Manila-based Eagle Equities. “Market reaction has been fairly muted in Asia in response to the Manchester blast,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore.
“At this point, markets are not going into risk-aversion mode.” Philippine shares were headed for a third session of gains, helped by industrial and real estate stocks. Industrial conglomerate SM Investments Corp hit a two-week high, while property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc surged to a record high.
“President (Rodrigo) Duterte has gone on a visit to Russia,” said Roxas. “These visits usually result in some good news for the market, so stocks might be moving in anticipation of that.” Singapore shares rose as much as 0.6 percent to their highest since May 16, aided by as financial and industrial stocks.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd gained as much as 1.2 percent, while Singapore Technologies Engineering clocked its biggest intraday percentage gain in over a month. Troubled commodity trader Noble Group suspended trading of its shares on Tuesday following a 32 percent drop, as S&P downgraded its long-term corporate credit ratings.