Business

Markets rally in the region after Dow's surge

Markets rallied across the region yesterday after Wall Street closed above 20,000 points for the first time ever.

The surge in New York on Wednesday was sparked by President Donald Trump's announcement of infrastructure projects, including the Mexico wall, that fuelled hopes of faster growth in the United States.

Asian markets took the hint with investors betting on more pro-growth policies, tax cuts and deregulation from the new administration.

Singapore was the best performer in Southeast Asia, up 0.39 per cent, putting it ahead 5.94 per cent since the start of the year.

Malaysia added up 0.49 per cent and Thailand gained 0.42 per cent yesterday while Hong Kong rallied 1.41 per cent, Japan advanced 1.81 per cent and Shanghai rose 0.31 per cent.

While the market is still in upbeat mood, Bank of Singapore highlighted the risk of policy uncertainty.

"A better economic growth outlook for most of Asia in 2017 is expected, although Mr Trump's protectionist rhetoric underscores increased risks of trade conflicts, which could put pressure on growth and corporate earnings forecasts," Bank of Singapore said.

The Sing dollar dipped 0.1 per cent against the greenback but continued to trade near its highest since mid-November despite worries over Mr Trump's protectionist stance. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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