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Asia Stock Stars May See More Tailwinds Even as World Tightens

  • MSCI Asean Index is beating its global peer this quarter
  • Reopening, inflation themes benefiting Southeast Asian stocks
Passengers disembark an AirAsia flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) in Sepang, Malaysia, earlier in April.
Passengers disembark an AirAsia flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) in Sepang, Malaysia, earlier in April.Photographer: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

Fed hikes, decades-high inflation and Covid lockdowns in China are only adding to investor bets that Southeast Asia’s stock markets may be one of the best places to park their money right now. 

Buyers are touting an economic reopening and the region’s attraction as a hedge against higher commodity prices, which is helping the MSCI Asean Index break out of a three-year relative downtrend versus its global peer. Foreign funds have been net buying Southeast Asia shares every month of this year, with total inflows of $10 billion so far, Bloomberg-compiled data show.