SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Thai shares down amid political unrest
Jan 20 (Reuters) - Thai stocks traded lower on Monday in thin volume as cautious investors stayed on the sidelines after violence over the weekend hit sentiment, while other Southeast Asian markets were mixed amid concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy this year. Twenty-eight people were wounded, seven seriously, in explosions on Sunday at a camp of anti-government protesters in Bangkok, the latest violence in a prolonged political crisis, threatening the Thai economy. The Thai SET index was down 0.5 percent at 0616 GMT, led by information technology shares. The baht also slid due to political tension. "Investors are cautious about the situation and trading volumes are thin," said Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist with Phillip Securities. "They are quite worried about the situation from the rally. Foreigners seem to be buying and selling instead of buying for a long term." Foreign investors sold a net $119.40 million worth shares in the last four sessions, Thomson Reuters data showed. Analysts expect more losses with Thai authorities "very seriously" considering a state of emergency after the weekend violence where protesters have been trying for more than two months to bring down the government. Shares in Singapore and Malaysia were down 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively as expectation of a sluggish growth in China this year dented investor appetite for risky assets. China's economy grew 7.7 percent in 2013 after easing in the final three months on sagging investment growth, while analysts expect a cool-down this year as the government wrestles to implement major reforms. Bucking the trend, the Vietnam stock index outperformed the region with a 2.3 percent rise at 0642 GMT, led by blue chips and banks, while the Jakarta Composite Index and the Philippines traded 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent firmer, respectively. In Manila, a court temporarily halted the sale of a minority stake worth $165 million in casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp by its Las Vegas-based partner. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0642 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 383.43 385.42 -0.52 Singapore 3129.87 3147.33 -0.55 Kuala Lumpur 1806.73 1813.01 -0.35 Bangkok 1288.84 1295.41 -0.51 Jakarta 4417.62 4412.23 +0.12 Manila 5991.45 5987.09 +0.07 Ho Chi Minh 556.15 543.59 +2.31
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