Asian markets shake off slump on back of China PMI, STI closes 11 points up

A man looking at an electronic board at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct 1, 2015.
A man looking at an electronic board at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct 1, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Asian markets extended their gains on Thursday (Oct 1), taking their cue from the rallies in global shares overnight while shaking off new manufacturing data from China.

Wall Street had gained 1.47 per cent on Thursday, ending its worst quarter since 2011 with a rebound as traders swooped in on battered stocks.

In Asia, Japan rose 1.92 per cent, Korea edged up 0.84 per cent, Indonesia added 0.73 per cent and Malaysia gained 0.8 per cent.

Singapore was not left out of the party as well: The Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 10.96 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 2,801.85. This was the benchmark index's second consecutive rally, following five sessions of losses.

Sentiment across the region was likely lifted by China's manufacturing numbers for September, which came in slightly better than expected - although they still marked a decline for the second consecutive month.

The Chinese markets were closed for the week-long National Day holiday.

"The China readings were almost flat, not really an improvement, but a few people might have used the figures as an excuse to increase dollar-long positions with China closed today," Mr Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo, told Reuters.

"The big picture is still that the outlook for the global economy remains very subdued, mainly due to weak Chinese growth."

Global markets have been turbulent for the most of the third quarter, rocked by fears China's shrinking economy. The lack of clues over the timing of the United States Federal Reserve interest rate hike has also done little to help.

At home, the STI was propped up by the three banks, led by DBS Group, which rose six cents or 0.37 per cent to $ 16.27. United Overseas Bank grew 5 cents or 0.27 per cent to $18.60, while OCBC Bank rose one cent or 0.11 per cent to $8.80.

Property developer Hongkong Land Holdings also contributed positively, jumping 17 US cents or 2.6 per cent to US$6.78.

Commodity plays were a mixed bag, with palm oil producer Golden Agri-Resources rising 0.5 cents or 1.5 per cent to 33.5 cents and agri-business Wilmar International up two cents or 0.78 per cent to $2.50.

This was as Swiss mining giant Glencore recovered further from a heavy selldown earlier this week.

Trading firm Noble Group, on the other hand, slipped 0.5 cents or 1.2 per cent to 41 cents.

Total trade across the exchange remained thin, with some 1.19 billion shares worth $814.6 million changing hands.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg