Philippines jumps to nine-month closing high; others fall on China trade shock

01/14/2019 | 05:07am

(Reuters) - Philippine shares jumped 1.5 percent on Monday to a nine-month closing high, driven by a recovery in financials, while other Southeast Asian markets fell in line with broader Asia after a shock contraction in Chinese exports raised fears of a sharper slowdown in global growth.

The key Philippine stock index <.PSI> bounced back from early falls to close higher for a third session in four.

Financials dragged the benchmark index lower on Friday after reports that the Philippine unit of South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd, Subic Shipyard, had filed for court rehabilitation proceedings, leaving top lenders in the archipelago to cover the fallout.

"I guess investors realised that it was an overreaction. They are performing quite strongly right now… Financials are one of the strongest stocks today," said April Lee Tan, head of research at COL Financial Group.

Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co rose 2.1 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, China trade shock rattled other markets in the region. China's exports unexpectedly fell the most in two years in December, while imports also contracted, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand.

Thai stocks led the decline in the region with a 0.9 percent drop, hurt largely by energy stocks.

PTT Pcl shed 3.1 percent, while Indorama Ventures PCL dropped 8.9 percent.

Singapore stocks <.STI> snapped six straight sessions of gains to close 0.8 percent lower, hurt by utilities and telecoms.

Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd slipped 2.3 percent, while Singapore Telecommunications Ltd dropped 1.6 percent.

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

By Shreya Mariam Job

© Reuters 2020
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