Asia markets waiting for China data, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Asia markets waiting for China data

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Investors less keen to take risks yesterday despite Tuesday's rally

The result of yesterday's British parliamentary vote on Brexit will be among the key events that will play into investors' minds today - but it is unlikely to take centre stage.

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi said even though market watchers will continue to keep a lookout for the latest updates on Brexit, they are expected "to accord greater importance to the Chinese releases" today.

The Chinese data releases include industrial production, retail sales and foreign direct investment figures - which may provide an indication of the health of China's economy during a time where growth concerns are increasing.

Yesterday saw investors in Asia flick the risk switch "off" following a largely positive session on Tuesday.

This saw Straits Times Index (STI) retreat 16.66 points or 0.52 per cent to close at 3,195.59.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets saw red, with Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia all ending lower.

The failure of British Prime Minister Theresa May's renewed Brexit deal to clear Parliament had a hand in contributing to the cautious sentiment.

Investors in Asia had also been attentively waiting for more news on the progress of the US-China trade negotiations.

The result was a muted session in Singapore, where trading clocked in at 817.48 million securities worth $1.05 billion - lower than the average traded volume. Decliners outnumbered advancers 221 to 176.

Nineteen of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the red. Among them, Genting Singapore was the blue-chip index's most traded.

The casino operator ended the session down one cent or one per cent to $1.01 with 26.3 million shares changing hands.


Going by value of trades done, DBS Group Holdings saw $113.3 million traded - 10.8 per cent of the bourse's value of securities traded - across 4.53 million shares. The banking stalwart's shares dipped 33 cents or 1.3 per cent to $24.97.

Singapore Exchange (SGX) continued to slide since the Hong Kong bourse's announcement of its plan to launch futures contracts on the MSCI China A Index.

The counter closed nine cents or 1.2 per cent lower at $7.26, shares are down 6.9 per cent on the week.

Jefferies Singapore equity analyst Krishna Guha acknowledged concerns surrounding the Singapore bourse operator are justified on grounds that its China A50 futures are a significant contributor to derivative volumes.

But Mr Guha noted that the SGX continues to have "a few strengths such as a first mover advantage to rely upon, and the exchange has witnessed such competitive incursions earlier as well".

He added that the sell-off by investors since the start of the week was overdone.

PhillipCapital principle trading representative Marcus Toh agreed that the bourse operator had been oversold, adding that shares in SGX were "attractive to buy again".

Wall Street's tech-led rally on Monday saw a number of technology hardware and equipment, and semiconductor counters outperform the benchmark index.

But yesterday, they pared gains made on Tuesday with AEM Holdings ending 1.6 per cent down at $1.25 while Hi-P International dropped 4 per cent to close at $1.68.

Thomson Medical Group was active on the Singapore bourse with 40.7 million shares traded. Shares in the medical group finished flat at 7.8 cents.

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