SE Asia Stocks-Singapore near 4-week low, others mostly lower
* Major bourses fall; S'pore's UOB, CapitaLand among losers
* Indonesia, Malaysia near 3-week lows
* Electronics makers firm on turnaround hopes
By Viparat Jantraprap
BANGKOK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Singapore shares fell to their lowest in almost four weeks on Wednesday, led by losses in financials and property firms such as UOB and CapitaLand, and other major Southeast Asian bourses also slid on worries about the economic recovery. Malaysia and Indonesia fell close to three-week lows while Thailand tumbled more than 1 percent.
Supakorn Soontornkit, a senior fund manager at MFC Asset Management in Bangkok, felt the global stock market pull-back would be short-lived, and he said he was upbeat about government stimulus programmes in Thailand.
"I view this as a short-term correction in equities markets. The long-term outlook is still positive," he said.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index .FTSTI ended 1.8 percent lower, just above the lowest level since July 24 seen in early trade. United Overseas Bank (UOBH.SI) fell 2.5 percent and developer CapitaLand (CATL.SI) lost 1.9 percent. CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's largest property developer, had gained in early trade after it said on Tuesday it was deploying S$1 billion of the S$1.8 billion raised from a recent rights issue to its businesses in China, Vietnam and the Ascott Group.
One bright spot in the region was shares in electronics makers, with Thailand's Delta Electronics DELT.BK gaining 0.6 percent and Malaysia's Unisem (UNSM.KL) rising 4.6 percent.
Delta told Reuters in an interview it expected the weakness in electronic component demand to have hit bottom in the second quarter, echoing recent views of Asian electronics makers which forecast a turnaround in the second half of 2009. [ID:nBKK50069]
Malaysia .KLSE lost 0.8 percent and Indonesia .JKSE dropped 2.5 percent. Earlier they fell to the lowest since July 30.
Losers in the region included palm plantation shares, which fell along with weaker Malaysian crude palm oil futures, with IOI Corp (IOIB.KL) down 1.6 percent and Sime Darby (SIME.KL) 0.5 percent lower.
Singapore's Wilmar International (WLIL.SI) lost 3.0 percent, Indonesia's Astra Agro (AALI.JK) fell 5.2 percent and Thailand's Univanich Palm UVAN.BK ended 1.3 percent lower.
In Kuala Lumpur, favourable results pushed Proton PROT.KL 2.5 percent higher.
In Jakarta Indonesia's second-largest mobile phone operator, PT Indosat Tbk (ISAT.JK), fell almost 5 percent after it reported steady net profit for the first half.
Bucking the trend, the Philippine index .PSI rose 1.1 percent, reversing a three-day fall, led by a 7 percent gain in conglomerate Benpres Holdings Corp BPC.PS and a 4.6 percent rise in top miner Philex Mining Corp (PX.PS).
Vietnam .VNI climbed 1.8 percent, with Tan Dai Hung Plastic TPC.HM and Vung Tau House Development HDC.HM each rising 5 percent. For Vietnam's stock report sees [ID:nHAN449033] ($1=34.03 Baht) (Additional reporting by Saranya Suksomkij in BANGKOK) (Editing by Alan Raybould)
- Housing, jobs data weaken, but overall economic picture still upbeat
- Target cyber breach hits 40 million payment cards at holiday peak |
- 'Duck Dynasty' anti-gay fallout sparks debate on religion, tolerance
- UPDATE 3-Saab wins Brazil jet deal after NSA spying sours Boeing bid
- Zuckerberg to sell Facebook shares worth about $2.3 billion |