SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petrochemical shares were sharply higher on Monday as investors welcomed the signing of the world’s largest trade pact led by China.
At 04:45 GMT, Mitsubishi Chemical was up by 2.91% in Tokyo, Sinopec was up by 1.42% in Hong Kong and PTT Global Chemical was 0.99% higher in Bangkok.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 1.83%, South Korea's KOSPI composite index rose by 0.50% and Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) was up by 1.28%.
|Company/Stock Exchange (At 04:45 GMT)||% Change|
|Nikkei 225 (Tokyo)||1.83%|
|Asahi Kasei Corp||2.89%|
|JXTG Holdings, Inc||1.48%|
|Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp||2.91%|
|Mitsui Chemicals, Inc||1.94%|
|Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong)||0.41%|
|China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec)||1.42%|
|KOSPI Composite Index (Seoul)||0.50%|
|Lotte Chemical Corp||3.00%|
|TSEC weighted index (Taipei)||1.64%|
|Formosa Petrochemical Corp||0.33%|
|Nan Ya Plastics Corp||0.31%|
|Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp||1.30%|
|STI Index (Singapore)||1.28%|
|FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (Kuala Lumpur)||0.24%|
|SSE Composite Index (Shanghai)||0.97%|
|Jakarta Composite Index||0.25%|
|PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk||0.60%|
|SET Index (Thailand)||1.17%|
|PTT Global Chemical||0.99%|
|The Siam Cement||0.55%|
Fifteen countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Sunday, including the 10-member ASEAN countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The other members are China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
They make up nearly a third of the world's population and account for 29% of global GDP.
The trade deal was signed on 15 November, on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN Summit hosted virtually by Vietnam.
Investors are upbeat that the free trade detail will boost Asia’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The RCEP will eliminate tariffs for at least 92% of traded goods among participating countries within 20 years, with additional preferential market access for exports.
Asian markets were also supported by positive economic data from China on Monday.
Industrial output in the world’s second-biggest economy increased by 6.9% year on year in October, with the automotive industry expanding by 12.5% as vehicle sales grew, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
Japan, which is the world’s third-biggest economy, beat expectations to post a 21.4% year-on-year expansion in the third quarter.
The economy rebounded from a 28.1% slump in the June quarter.
Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman
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