SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down; Thai shares up as political situation improves

lunes 3 de marzo de 2014 02:47 GYT
 

March 3 (Reuters) - Thai stocks hit their highest in more
than two months amid falls in Southeast Asia on Monday as the
political situation improved with protesters massing into one
site rather than several over the weekend, easing pressure on
the tourism sector and the domestic economy.
    All other Southeast Asia stocks slipped on worries about
escalating tensions in the Ukraine.
    The Thai SET index was up 1.3 percent at midday
touching 1,343, its highest level since Dec. 23. 
    "Most investors have been sitting on cash after months of
political crisis. So, clearer signs of the easing political
situation attracted many active investors today," said Viwat
Techapoonphol, a senior strategist at Tisco Securities, adding
that the index could rise to 1350, and further to 1390 in the
near term.
    Thai protesters have blocked some streets in Bangkok since
mid-January in their bid to push out Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra and erase the influence of her brother, ex-premier
Thaksin Shinawatra, seen as the real power in Thailand.
  
    Investors bought to cover short positions, and funds that
had been content to stay on the sidelines due to the imposition
of emergency in Bangkok started to build positions.
    Among the actively traded, shares of airport operator
Airports of Thailand jumped 2.7 percent while Bangkok
Bank rose 1.2 percent.
    Foreign investors have offloaded a net $3.9 billion worth of
Thai shares since November through Friday due to the political
turmoil, according to Thomson Reuters data.
    The Jakarta Composite Index was down 1 percent,
Singapore shares were 0.8 percent weaker, touching
their lowest in two weeks, and Malaysia's main share index
 was down 0.7 percent after earlier touching a three-week
low. 
    "Escalation in Ukraine's crisis will obviously have an
impact on emerging markets," said Song Seng Wun, an economist at
CIMB and based in Singapore. "More investors are wary of EM,
which are now in the spotlight and they prefer to be on the
sidelines."
    Vietnam's benchmark VN Index was down 0.8 percent at
the break as retail investors sold stocks for quick profits,
while buying demand was weak ahead of funds' portfolio
restructuring. 
    Philippine shares were steady as losses were offset
by a 3.2 percent gain in SM Investments Corp, after the
country's second largest company by market value on Monday
posted an increase of 11 percent in 2013 profit, driven largely
by record earnings of its banking unit. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0613 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   396.82        397.90       -0.27
 Singapore          3085.01       3110.78       -0.83
 Kuala Lumpur       1823.51       1835.66       -0.66
 Bangkok            1342.25       1325.33       +1.28
 Jakarta            4572.48       4620.22       -1.01
 Manila             6425.89       6424.99       +0.01
 Ho Chi Minh         581.82        586.48       -0.79 
 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.