SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares see worst loss since Jan; Ex-PM found guilty in rice scheme
BANGKOK, May 8 (Reuters) - Thai shares posted their worst drop since January on Thursday after an anti-graft body found former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of negligence over a rice-buying scheme while stocks in Vietnam fell the most in nearly 13 years amid a South China sea dispute with China. Bangkok's key SET index ended down 1.7 percent at 1,379.02, the lowest close in almost six weeks, led down by large caps such as Advanced Info Service. Yingluck's rice scheme case will be further heard by the Senate and she now faces a ban from politics if found guilty by the Senate. Domestic institutions sold shares worth a net 1.3 billion baht ($40.14 million) while foreign investors bought worth a net 1.2 billion baht ($37.05 million), Thomson Reuters data showed. The Thai market saw a net 2 billion baht of foreign selling on Wednesday after a court ordered Yingluck to step down after finding her guilty of abuse of power. Thailand's consumer confidence fell for the thirteenth month in April, reflecting worries about the prolonged political uncertainty. The Thai stock market was Asia's second-worst performer on the day after Vietnam, which was the worst, Thomson Reuters data showed. "It's no surprise that the political situation is undermining consumer confidence and the economic outlook ... As the lack of further clarity on politics leaves fiscal policy in a vacuum, growth will remain subpar at best," said economist Julia Goh at CIMB Investment Bank. Stocks in Indonesia ended nearly flat after Bank Indonesia kept its key reference rate unchanged at 7.50 percent on Thursday, as widely expected, with pressures over inflation and a widening current-account deficit easing. The Philippines and Malaysia saw a range-bound session before the Philippine central bank and Bank Negara Malaysia both held key interest rates as expected. The decisions came after market close. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 417.95 418.41 -0.11 Singapore 3247.69 3236.43 +0.35 Kuala Lumpur 1862.84 1860.43 +0.13 Bangkok 1379.02 1402.61 -1.68 Jakarta 4860.89 4862.07 -0.02 Manila 6765.21 6748.51 +0.25 Ho Chi Minh 527.09 559.97 -5.87 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 417.95 388.37 +7.61 Singapore 3247.69 3167.43 +2.65 Kuala Lumpur 1862.84 1866.96 -0.22 Bangkok 1379.02 1298.71 +6.42 Jakarta 4860.89 4274.18 +13.38 Manila 6765.21 5889.83 +14.78 Ho Chi Minh 527.09 504.63 +4.43 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ($1 = 44.2200 Philippine Pesos) ($1 = 3.2505 Malaysian Ringgits) ($1 = 32.3900 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in HANOI; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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