Malaysia shares climb as banks gain, Singapore down
Malaysia shares rose Monday while Singapore started the week in the red as investors debate threats of further U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports and the impact of trade conflict on global economy.
The FBM KLCI ended 0.2% higher at 1757.96 as support from local funds helped major banks and telecom stocks to trim early losses. The Straits Times Index meanwhile closed 0.1% lower at 3293.71 as financial services stocks fell. Other markets in Asia ended mixed.
Trump criticized the U.S. Federal Reserve for raising rates, saying the action eroded the country’s competitive advantage. He also threatened to impose tariffs on the whole $500 billion of Chinese imports and accused both the eurozone and China of devaluing their respective currencies to make their products more attractive in global market.
The G-20 group of finance ministers concluded their weekend meeting warning of risks to global growth over the short and medium term” due to rising financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions.
“The STI is down mainly due to bank shares falling amid rising trade tensions over the weekend,” said, Margaret Yang Yan, Market Analyst CMC Markets (Singapore). Margaret has traded equities, futures, options, exchange-traded funds and fixed income for many years, across both regional and global markets.
In Singapore, DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank closed 1.0% and 0.7% lower, respectively. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. lost 0.8% on the day it announced it will reduce teller jobs by half within two years with its strong digital push at its branches.
Bucking the trend, Singapore Telecommunications rose 0.6%. The stock will go ex-dividend on Jul. 26 and pay S$0.107 per share as final dividend in August.
Venture Corp. surged 12% even after a query from market operator Singapore Exchange over the stock’s unusual price movements.
In Malaysia, CIMB Group Holdings and Malayan Banking (Maybank), Malaysia’s two biggest lenders by assets, rose 0.9% and 0.2%. Telecommunication companies Telekom Malaysia and Axiata Group rose 1.1% and 1.4%.