The Singapore Exchange rises on Tuesday after data showed the country’s economy grew at its fastest pace since 2014. (Reuters photo)
Singapore shares climbed nearly 1% on Tuesday, buoyed by data showing the city-state’s economy grew last year at its fastest pace since 2014, while Indonesia reversed course to end lower after touching a record high.
The Singapore index closed at its highest since Dec 14, with financials leading the gainers. Index heavyweight DBS Group Holdings Ltd was up 1.4%, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd rose 0.8%.
“Today’s data affirm that the recovery is broadening out,” said Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Bank. “The services sector is likely to take over from the manufacturing sector as the main engine of growth in 2018.”
Although advance estimates showed Singapore’s economic growth slowing in the fourth quarter as factories lost steam, a services sector recovery has bolstered expectations the central bank could tighten monetary policy as early as April.
The affluent-state’s full-year growth came in at the top end of the government’s official 3.0-3.5% forecast range, its fastest expansion in three years.
In Indonesia, shares closed down 0.3%, dragged down by financials and stocks of telecommunication services providers. It hit a record high earlier in the session.
Bank Mandiri lost 1.9%, while clove cigarettes maker Gudang Garam fell 2.7%.
Malaysia snapped three consecutive sessions of gains, led by consumer staples and telecommunication services.
“This is most likely the reaction towards strong share prices in the previous (trading) days,” said Jolynn Kek, investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. “It’s only the first day of trading for the year, so it’s hard to say (if) it’s indicative of a longer term trend.”
Sime Darby Plantation Bhd slumped 8.5%, while Malayan Banking Bhd slipped 1.4%.
Vietnam shares rose for a seventh straight session to end at their highest since November 2007, with financial stocks leading.
BIDV climbed to a more than two-year high, while VPBank hit a record high.
Stock markets in Thailand and the Philippines were closed for a holiday.