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Disappointing Macro Releases across South Asian Economies

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Singapore industrial production contracts on monthly basis

Among South Asian economies, industrial production for Singapore released below expectations for May at 0.9% on an annual basis—compared to 3.0% growth in the previous month and slightly below expectations of 1.0%. On a monthly basis, industrial production in May contracted by 0.4%—compared to an expansion of 4.4% in April. However, it was better than expectations of a 1.7% decline. The iShares MSCI Singapore ETF (EWS) fell by 5.0% at the end of the day on June 24, while the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) fell by 6.1%.

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Thai trade surplus fell

Thailand recorded a surplus in trade balance figures for May to release at 1.5 billion dollars—compared to 2.4 billion dollars in the same month last year. Exports contracted in the South Asian economy in May by 4.4% on an annual basis. It was driven by shrinkage in outbound shipments—comapred to an 8.0% fall in April—and a subdued forecast of a 4.8% decline. On the other hand, imports in Thailand recorded a rise of 0.5% in May on an annual basis against a sharp 14.9% fall in the preceding month and lower forecasts of a contraction of 5.5%. The iShares MSCI Thailand Capped ETF (THD) fell by 4.7% at the end of the day on June 24.

Philippines’ trade deficit rises

The Philippines recorded a deficit in trade balance figures for May to release at 2.3 billion dollars—compared to 0.62 billion dollars in the same month last year. A fall in exports was combined with a rise in import growth—this led to the high deficit. While imports in the South Asian country rose by 29.2% on an annual basis in May, export sales declined by 4.1%. The iShares MSCI Philippines ETF (EPHE) fell by 4.9% at the end of the day on June 24.

Malaysian leading economic index contracts

The leading economic index in Malaysia fell by 1.1% on a monthly basis in April—compared to a 0.4% rise in the preceding month. The coincident index also fell by 1.1% in April on an annual basis. It had a negative trajectory due to falling by 0.5% in March. The jobless rate in the South Asian economy rose in April to 3.6% from 3.5% in March. It reached the highest unemployment rate since June 2010. The iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (EWM) fell by 4.9% at the end of the day on June 24.

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