SE Asia Stocks-Mostly firm; Thai shares recover, but caution persists
Jan 23 (Reuters) - Thai shares recovered on Thursday from the previous session's one-week closing low, but foreign investors reduced their exposure to the country's risky assets due to the politically volatile situation, while other markets were mostly firmer. The Thai SET index was up 0.6 percent by midday led by energy and bank shares, gaining from its lowest close since Jan. 15, hit on Wednesday. "There was no violence and we expect the market to move sideways until there is a clear picture on the political situation," said Pichai Lertsupongkij, a senior analyst at broker Thanachart Securities. "We see foreign investors reducing their exposure. If the violence erupts again that will hit sentiment," he said. The Thai government declared a 60-day state of emergency from Wednesday hoping to prevent an escalation in protests, now in their third month. That decree will face a fresh test on Thursday when popular anti-government firebrand Suthep Thaugsuban leads a march through the capital Bangkok. Foreign investors sold a net $101.97 million worth of shares in three sessions this week through Wednesday, extending the offshore outflow to $221.4 million in the last seven sessions. The Philippines index was up 0.6 percent led by a 3.8 percent gain in BDO Unibank Inc and traded at a more-than-seven-week high on positive sentiment after the IMF raised the country's growth forecast. Cautious investors are awaiting directions from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which some market players expect to further trim its bond buying next week even as Chinese manufacturing data pointed to a mild slowdown in the new year. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index was up 0.7 percent on a slight rebound in blue-chips after a bout of selling, with more gains expected next month, while the Jakarta Composite index was 0.3 percent firmer, trading at its highest level since Nov. 7. Bucking the trend, Singapore shares underperformed the region with a 1 percent loss, while Malaysia was down 0.3 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0704 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 383.88 385.16 -0.33 Singapore 3102.45 3133.74 -1.00 Kuala Lumpur 1808.23 1814.10 -0.32 Bangkok 1298.10 1290.49 +0.59 Jakarta 4487.40 4477.49 +0.24 Manila 6175.69 6139.86 +0.58 Ho Chi Minh 556.32 551.92 +0.80
- Man called Bitcoin's father denies ties, leads LA car chase
- Ukraine standoff intensifies, Russia says sanctions will 'boomerang' |
- Florida mayor fights backyard gun ranges in 'Gunshine State'
- Malaysia Airlines says lost contact with plane carrying 239 people
- Apple loses bid for U.S. ban on Samsung smartphone sales