SE Asia Stocks -Most fall; tourism shares weak after Bangkok bombing
BANGKOK, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday as investors sold recent gainers, pulling the Philippine benchmark off its record close in the previous session, while Thai tourism stocks underperformed after small bombs hit a central shopping mall. The Thai SET index was down 0.6 percent, on course for a third straight session of fall. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered security to be tightened in Bangkok on Monday after two small bombs rattled a luxury shopping mall and stoked tension in a city under martial law since a coup in May. "Local politics is also back in spotlight after the explosion of improvised time-bombs in the CBD of Bangkok Sunday evening. Volatility would continue to reign in the Thai stock market, in our view," Phillip Securities said in a report. Thai tourism-related stocks such as hotelier Minor International and airports operator Airports of Thailand were among the underperformers. Brokers said bomb explosions in central Bangkok late on Sunday dented sentiment. Asian sentiment was broadly weak after the latest gauge of China's factory sector activity raised concerns about the world's second-largest economy. The Philippine composite index slipped almost 1 percent to 7,614.98, after hitting a record closing high of 7,689.91 in the previous session. Among the losers, shares of SM Investments Corp dropped 2 percent after a 6.2 percent gain last week. The loss on Monday pulled the 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) to the 62.7 level versus Friday's 69.2, near an overbought mark of 70 or above. In Jakarta, the main index eased 0.4 percent, reversing the previous session's gains. Vietnam's index was a tad lower as investors were cautious after a circular capping banks' loans for stock investment came into effect. Bargain hunting emerged in energy-related shares across exchanges, with the Philippines' top oil refiner Petron Corp up 2 percent and Thailand's energy explorer PTT Exploration and Production up 3.2 percent. In Singapore, shares of Semcorp Marine and Noble Group each gained more than 1 percent, sending the key Straits Times Index 0.5 percent higher, bucking the trend. Malaysia is closed on Monday and Tuesday for public holidays. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0601 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3405.85 3391.20 +0.43 Bangkok 1572.52 1581.25 -0.55 Jakarta 5267.73 5289.40 -0.41 Manila 7614.98 7689.91 -0.97 Ho Chi Minh 575.90 576.07 -0.03 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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