Asia stocks higher tracking Wall Street gains, Singapore dollar down

Technically, the Singapore dollar could fall back to a multi-year low in a few weeks if the US currency keeps its momentum.

Asian shares, oil fall
A man passes a board showing the decline of Straits Times Index (STI), Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Standard and Poor's (S&P) index at the central business district in Singapore, January 18, 2016 Reuters

Most Asian share indices opened higher on Wednesday (8 Feb) tracking higher closing of US markets in the previous day while the firm US currency weakened regional currencies like Singapore dollar.

Technically, the Singapore dollar could fall back to a multi-year low in a few weeks if the US currency keeps its momentum amid continuing negative news from Europe.

At 9:00 am Singapore Time, Singapore main share index was up 0.48%, Nikkei 225 was 0.30% higher and Australia's All Ordinaries was up 0.25%. New Zealand's NZ50 was marginally higher while Korea's KS11 was down 0.55%.

USD/JPY rose to 112.52 from previous close of 112.36 and EUR/USD slipped to 1.0668 from 1.0688.

The Singapore dollar weakened to 1.4199 from 1.4171, adding to the 0.57% loss on Tuesday.

The market is weighing declining oil prices, which had caused paring of daily gains in US stock indices on Tuesday, and political uncertainty in Eurozone as negatives on the outlook for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, analysts expect upbeat earnings estimate for the US fourth-quarter results season will help keep the bullishness, some analysts said. The earnings are estimated to have risen 8.2%, the best in nine quarters.

Worsening debt problems in Greece and signs that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is gaining momentum before France's presidential election are holding investors cautious too.

French stocks and bonds were down on Tuesday along with a sliding euro; the single currency had fallen 0.58% against the greenback.

In addition, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi had said recently that the central bank is ready to extend the quantitative easing program if inflation remains subdued.


Taiwan on Wednesday reported accelerating inflation at the start of the year. Year-on-year, prices rose 2.25% in January, faster than 1.70% in December and beating analysts expectations of 2.07%. Month-on-month, deflation slowed to -0.02% from -1%. Wholesale price inflation was 2.72%, up from 1.41% in December.

The regional markets are now waiting for interest rate decisions by Thailand and Indian central banks scheduled for the day. Both the banks are expected to keep rates on hold this time.

USD/SGD outlook

The USD/SGD pair will have some resistance at 1.4243 in a normal daily movement, a break of which will help it to 1.4327.

A break of that level weaken the downtrend so far this year opening doors to 1.4410 and then 1.4547. Beyond that, it will be the highest since mid-2009 or a near 6-year low for the Singapore currency.