KUALA LUMPUR (Nikkei Markets) -- Malaysia shares rebounded Thursday and Singapore extended gains as news that the U.S. has proposed resuming trade talks with China lifted banking stocks.
The FBM KLCI ended 0.4% higher at 1792.60 while Straits Times Index closed 0.2% higher at 3,131.77. Singapore's DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., and United Overseas Bank edged up 0.8%, 0.9% and 0.6% respectively. CIMB Group Holdings surged 3.2% in Malaysia.
Still, investors remained mostly cautious. "People are still going risk-off," said Phua Lee Kerk, chief strategist at Phillip Mutual. "There's likely to be further weakness until investors get more confident about the outlook."
Bets that a resumption of Sino-American talks could pause levying of more tariffs helped lift sentiment on Thursday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has proposed renewed trade talks with China, President Donald Trump's Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told FOX Business on Wednesday.
The Trump administration has proposed duties on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods shipped into the country, on top of the $50 billion in levies both nations have already introduced on imports from each other. Last week, Trump warned that tariffs on a further $267 billion of Chinese goods could also be imposed.
Most Asian currencies, including the Malaysian ringgit and Singaporean dollar, also rose slightly against the greenback. Investors are awaiting the U.S. consumer inflation report due later Thursday and monetary policy outcome of the European Central Bank and the Bank of England for new cues.
Malaysian semiconductor firm Unisem (M) advanced 4.4% after receiving a joint takeover offer from major shareholder Jayvest Holdings and China-based TH Group Co. at 3.30 ringgit ($0.80) a share.
Construction-and-property play Sunway rose 2% after its joint venture with Hoi Hup Realty won a bid to purchase a land parcel in Singapore for S$271 million ($196.84 million).
Magni-Tech Industries, which manufactures apparel for Nike, added 3% after reporting a 12% rise in first-quarter net profit.
Flag carrier Singapore Airlines lost 0.8% as rising aviation fuel prices near record high in four years. The Singapore jet fuel benchmark price has risen by 10.2% to $226.56 a barrel this year and is up by 20.6% over the year to Sep. 12, according to Australian online broker Commsec.
Del Monte Pacific, a food and beverage company, rose 3.5% after reporting its net profit surged more than four times to 3.02 million U.S. dollars in the fiscal first quarter thanks to one-off gains.
CapitaLand Commercial Trust ended unchanged. The trust announced that HSBC, the sole tenant at its Collyer Quay property, had extended its lease for a year. Analysts said the lease removes near-term uncertainty and notes the higher rent from the short stay by the bank.
- Alexander Winifred and Joannah Perez