SE Asia Stocks-Thai index at 3-mth low; Indonesia hit by rupiah

Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:11am EST

BANGKOK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Thai stocks slipped to
three-month lows on Friday, poised for a second week of falls,
as the domestic political drift marred growth at home, while
Indonesian shares hit a week-low on a tumbling rupiah and
worries over U.S. stimulus tapering.
    At midday, the Thai SET index was down 1 percent at
1,342.97, its lowest since Sept. 6. Selling was most active in
telecoms shares, led by top mobile phone operator Advanced Info
Service which fell 1.9 percent to nine-month lows.
    The benchmark has fallen 1.4 percent so far in the week,
taking its year-to-date loss to 3.5 percent, making its Asia's
second worst performer, thanks to heavy foreign sell-offs.
  
    Foreign investors sold a net $2.4 billion of Thai shares
since November to Thursday amid political turmoil in the
country. Their net sales stood at $5.9 billion this year, much
larger than in many neighbouring markets.
    Sentiment was weak near-term, partly due to uncertainty
associated with the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting on Dec. 17-18.
    "Global sentiment was shaky ahead of the U.S. FOMC meeting
next week, while the political situation at home is still in a
deadlock," strategists at broker KGI Securities said in a
report.
    "The key factor to watch is whether the general election on
February 2, 2014 can happen. In the meantime, all factors point
to continued foreign selling," they wrote.
    The leader of a protest group trying to overthrow Thailand's
government said on Friday the prime minister should either step
down or be forced out, and his movement would then need around a
year to push through reforms. 
    Indonesia's main index edged down 0.2 percent,
earlier falling to its lowest since Sept. 6, as a falling rupiah
 dented sentiment. It fell to its lowest level in nearly
five years. 
    Large-caps, including Bank Rakyat Indonesia and
Astra International, extended losses from the previous
session.
    Foreign selling derailed the region this week, with stocks
in the Philippines among the under-performers. The benchmark of
30 large-cap companies had fallen 4.3 percent so far on
the week.  
      
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0639 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   388.75        390.23       -0.38
 Singapore          3059.91       3059.04       +0.03
 Kuala Lumpur       1841.59       1833.87       +0.42
 Bangkok            1342.97       1356.21       -0.98
 Jakarta            4202.06       4212.22       -0.24
 Manila             5754.04       5762.53       -0.15
 Ho Chi Minh         507.46        506.92       +0.11