SE Asia stocks mostly up, Thai stocks flat

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Most Southeast Asian stocks edged slightly higher today amid selective buying in a thin market, with an anti-government rally in Bangkok capping the Thai benchmark and sending the baht to a one-month low.

The SET index traded nearly unchanged around the 1,428 level, with trading volume falling to around 30 per cent of the full-day average over the past 30 sessions. The market has been range-bound since late last week over political worries.

The index is likely to continue its downside bias in a trading range of 1,400-1,440 later in the day, strategists at broker Phillip Securities wrote in a report.

“The market remained clouded by domestic political pressure as controversial amnesty-related bills are tabled for debate in parliament today amid protests against the bills,” they said.

Thailand’s parliament was due to debate a political amnesty bill on Wednesday as anti-government protesters marched to try to get it scrapped, saying it could let ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra return from exile without having to serve a jail sentence.

The Thai bourse said foreign investors were net sellers of shares over the past four sessions worth a combined US$107 million (RM321 million).

Singapore’s Straits Times Index edged up 0.2 per cent, poised for a modest loss of 0.7 per cent on the week, while Malaysia’s key index was down 0.3 per cent, on track to end the week 1.2 per cent lower.

The Philippine index was up 0.3 per cent after losses over the past three sessions. Vietnam climbed 0.8 per cent, extending yesterday’s gain.

Investors bought regional large caps in a reporting season, including Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings, Malaysia’s Maxis, Thailand’s Advanced Info Service Pcl and Philippine Ayala Land Inc.

Trading volume in the region was relatively light in a shortened week, with Singapore and Malaysia shut on tomorrow and Friday, and the Philippines on Friday, for a public holiday.

Indonesia is shut for the week for Eid Al-Fitr holidays.

Asian stocks fell to their lowest since mid-July early today following a second day of losses on Wall Street as uncertainty about when the US Federal Reserve would start to reduce stimulus kept a leash on market bulls.
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SE Asia stocks mostly up, Thai stocks flat, 2.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating


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