SE Asia Stocks-Thai stocks sink to 7-month lows on concerns over security, king
By Susan Mathew Oct 12 (Reuters) - Thai stocks fell nearly 7 percent on Wednesday to their lowest in seven months after police warned of a bomb plot in Bangkok and on concerns about the health of 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Police said on Tuesday they have increased security at major landmarks in the capital, at airports and in surrounding provinces following reports of bomb plots just weeks after deadly attacks rocked the country's south. The tourism industry, which accounts for about 10 percent of Thailand's economy, has weathered more than a decade of political unrest, including two military coups and a wave of bombings in August. The SET index skidded for a fourth straight session and ended down 2.5 percent. Basic materials and telecoms led the losses. Thailand's king, the world's longest reigning monarch, is in an unstable condition after receiving haemodialysis treatment, the palace said on Sunday. "There has not been any news from the palace since Sunday. If there is an information vacuum then the event risk would increase," a Singapore-based economist, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. Anxiety over the king's health and an eventual succession has formed the backdrop to more than a decade of bitter political divide in Thailand. Chemicals producer PTT Global and mobile operator Advanced Info Service PCL shed 3.8 percent and 2 percent. respectively. Most other Southeast Asian markets also ended lower, tracking Asian peers, on subdued risk sentiment as expectations that U.S. Federal Reserve would hike interest rates in December lifted the dollar and pushed up bond yields overnight . "The speculation is that a hike in interest rates would lead to some of the flow destruction in the markets and therefore, it adds some pressure on sentiment," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities in Indonesia. Sentiment also took a hit as a dour start to Wall Street's corporate earnings season knocked U.S. stocks. The main index in the Philippines closed down 1.2 percent, falling to its lowest in four months, with financials and energy leading the fall. Singapore shares fell 1.5 percent to their lowest in nearly four weeks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2813.71 2856.13 -1.49 Bangkok 1406.18 1442.21 -2.50 Manila 7429.82 7520.82 -1.21 Jakarta 5364.611 5381.997 -0.32 Kuala Lumpur 1667.03 1668.72 -0.10 Ho Chi Minh 682.45 682.36 0.01 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2813.71 2882.73 -2.39 Bangkok 1406.18 1288.02 9.17 Manila 7429.82 6952.08 6.87 Jakarta 5364.611 4593.008 16.80 Kuala Lumpur 1667.03 1692.51 -1.51 Ho Chi Minh 682.45 579.03 17.86 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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