SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares at 3-week low; True Corp falls ahead of ex-rights
BANGKOK, July 30 (Reuters) - Thai shares touched their lowest in three weeks on Wednesday as shares of True Corporation tumbled a day ahead of trading ex-rights while the Vietnamese benchmark hovered in positive territory after Moody's upgrade of the country's credit rating. A bout of short-selling brought the key SET index to its lowest since July 9 in early trade, analysts said. It was down 0.5 percent at midday. "We have those investors that missed the market rally in the past two months and they have to go with a short-selling strategy," said Viwat Techapoonphol, a senior strategist at broker Tisco Securities. The SET index had gained 7.4 percent since May 22 when the military seized power in a bid to restore order and revive the economy. Gains in other markets in Southeast Asia were smaller during the same period. Shares of telecoms firm True Corp lost as much as 9 percent to a near-three-week low. Traders said investors who don't want to buy the rights issue sold because the stock price is expected to fall on Thursday in the absence of the right to buy shares. Siam Cement eased 0.4 percent. It reported a net profit of 8.53 billion baht for the second quarter, in line with expectations. The result came during the midday trading break. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index edged up 0.03 percent at midday, trimming some of its earlier gains and after notching up 0.5 percent gain on Tuesday. Moody's Investors Service raised Vietnam's credit rating for the first time in nearly two years on Tuesday to B1 with a stable outlook, citing improving macroeconomic stability and a stronger position in its balance of payments. Investors sold overbought markets, including Singapore. The Straits Times Index slipped after Tuesday's rise to a near 14-month high. It is set for further sales as the 14-day Relative Strength Index remained above the overbought 70 level. Players in the region looked forward to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and its policy outlook which could direct fund flows to the region. The Fed's policy statement, unchanged for the last four months, will probably stay that way until at least September for one main reason: slow wage growth. Indonesia remained shut through the week. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0554 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 442.47 443.51 -0.23 Singapore 3352.36 3356.08 -0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1879.01 1877.34 +0.09 Bangkok 1512.41 1520.55 -0.54 Manila 6859.21 6850.47 +0.13 Ho Chi Minh 592.44 592.24 +0.03 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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