Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, in line with broader Asia, underpinned by improved risk sentiment as investors shifted focus away from the US Federal Reserve after an interest rate increase last week. However, markets also positioned themselves for the UK’s negotiations to exit the European Union, set to start in Brussels on Monday. “I think risk-on bias is coming back from the precipitation of central bank events,” said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
“(Major) central bank events are over, and ECB (European Central Bank) and Federal Reserve did not provide much of a surprise to the market, which was actually a relief. The ECB and Federal Reserve’s forward looking guidance was in line with expectations.” Philippine shares led the gainers in the region, rising 0.6 percent, lifted by the industrial sector. “(Rise in Philippine shares) are more in anticipation of the tax reform measures.
Much sooner than that is the state of the nation address coming up mid-July, and then Congress will open and hopefully will immediately pass the tax reform measures,” said Joseph Roxas, an analyst with Manila-based Eagle Equities. The Philippines’ lower house of Congress passed the much-anticipated tax reform bill on May 31, aimed at generating revenue to fund a multi-billion dollar infrastructure program that is key to the government’s economic agenda.
Singapore shares edged up 0.3 percent, with financials making up nearly half of the gains on the index. Index heavyweights United Overseas Bank and DBS Group Holdings gained 0.9 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Thai shares rose 0.3 percent, with Airports of Thailand hitting a record high. Indonesian shares edged up 0.2 percent, with media company Elang Mahkota Teknologi gaining 18.5 percent. Meanwhile, Malaysian shares fell 0.2 percent, with telecommunication company Digi.com falling 0.8 percent and casino operator Genting Bhd down 0.7 percent.