Monday, September 16, 2013

Asia This Day:Bernanke Succession;Syrian Framework

Asian markets were cheered by developments in the US and Geneva Monday morning,sending the MSCI Asia Pacific index up 0.55%.The withdrawal of former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers from consideration to head the Federal Reserve is being seen as a definite plus by Asia,as it will supposedly make the tapering of supportive Fed policies a little less severe.
We're seeing the rally as being based on Summers being a litle more agressive on tapering,said Philip McNicholas,ASEAN economist at BNP Paribas.Broadly speaking,we do see down side risks to the region with this tapering.We actually think Malaysia is more sensitive.Malaysian markets are closed for a national holiday today.
In the Philippines,the government is being more effective in its spending.That process is still ongoing and showing improvement.Overall,the fundamental story is still there.In Indonesia,the government was able to implement fuel price reform in June.We do think that Thailand can ride this out.
Markets are expecting the Federal Reserve to make an announcement on tapering this week.Mr.Summers' prospective nomination to be Fed Chairman had become highly politicised,and even Democrats opposed him in an open letter supporting the nomination of Janet Yellen,who has become the consensus candidate.
Bill Gross of PIMCO tweeted that Summers' exit makes Monday a huge day for the risk-on trade,i.e.,the buying of equities.
Another positive influence on world markets is the agreement in Geneva on Saturday of a framework for Syrian chemical weapons disarmament by the US and Russia.This will now go to the UN for the final formulation of a Security Council resolution spelling out the details.The framework gives Syria one week to provide a complete inventory of its stockpile;stipulates the first inspection of the weapon sites in November;and the destruction of all the weapons by mid-2014.
US forces will remain on standby in the region to back the agreement up with military action.

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