SE Asia Stocks-Thai down on political unrest; others mixed
Feb 24 (Reuters) - Shares in Thailand fell to a near two-week low on Monday on concerns over violent protest amid lingering political unrest, while other Southeast Asian stocks were mixed on caution over the impact of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus withdrawal. Thailand's main SET index was down 0.5 percent at 1,298.29 by midday, the lowest since Feb. 11, led by 2.9 percent loss in the country's largest mobile operator Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) and 2.4 percent fall in Shin Corp . Data showed more subscribers had switched to rival mobile networks, following a call by anti-government protesters to boycott businesses linked to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at Phillip Securities, said the weekend violence that killed three people has weighed down on the market. "We see the next support level at 1,280 and foreign investors seem to be in the selling side. We have seen foreign outflow for the past six straight weeks and we expect this to continue in this week as well," she said. Bangkok has witnessed a foreign outflow of about $970 million in the 20 straight sessions through Friday, mainly due to offshore investors exiting in the wake of potential rise in the political unrest. Other Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed despite optimism after a week-end G-20 meeting in Sydney. The minutes released last week from the Fed's most recent meeting showed that policymakers generally "anticipated that the economy would expand at a moderate pace in coming quarters," suggesting the pace of stimulus-tapering will continue for now. Malaysian shares were down 0.2 percent, while Jakarta Composite Index fell from a five-month closing high to 4,635. Citi Research in a note said macroeconomic numbers and upcoming presidential election will be the key factors monitored by investors, while stock and sector selection would be the key for better returns amid sluggish earning expectations. "If the poll results satisfy expectations, beneficiaries could be banks, cement/construction, media, retail, and mass-market property." At 0619 GMT, Singapore's benchmark Straits Times index and the Philippines shares were steady, while Vietnam's benchmark VN Index rose 0.5 percent at midday break, lifted by gains in some blue chips and property sector shares. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0621 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 394.87 395.02 -0.04 Singapore 3100.18 3099.93 +0.01 Kuala Lumpur 1826.82 1830.74 -0.21 Bangkok 1298.39 1304.21 -0.45 Jakarta 4636.43 4646.15 -0.21 Manila 6311.24 6308.36 +0.05 Ho Chi Minh 572.34 570.57 +0.31 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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