SE Asia Stocks-Rebound; Thai political risks in focus

Wed Feb 5, 2014 12:44am EST

BANGKOK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks edged
higher on Wednesday, helped by technical-led buying and
overnight gains in U.S. indexes, with Thai shares cautiously
rebounding from the previous session's fall amid caution over
political risks.
    In Bangkok, the benchmark SET index was up 0.7
percent at 1,285.85 as investors picked shares of exporter
Charoen Pokphand Foods and dividend-yielding Advanced
Info Service.
    The gauge dropped 1.2 percent on Tuesday due to selling by
foreigners as the election on Sunday failed to resolve the
country's political problems. 
    Broker Krungsri Securities said the SET index's move above a
key support of 1,275 boded well for a technical rebound to its
previous high of 1,295, with the baht's appreciation
supportive to stock market sentiment.
    "Although foreign outflows due to QE tapering will act as a
headwind for the SET, we expect it to recover gradually because
of its inexpensive valuation," the broker said in a report.
    The SET has fallen more than 10 percent since November to
Wednesday, underperforming most others in the region and
reflecting concerns over the impact of protracted political
risks to the economy.
    Southeast Asian markets were helped by a rebound in U.S.
stocks on Tuesday, with all the major indexes, the Dow Jones
industrial average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq
Composite ending up. 
    Singapore's Straits Times Index edged up 0.2
percent, with shares of United Overseas Bank and
Keppel Corp recovering from recent losses.
    The index had fallen more than 3 percent over the past four
sessions, hitting 14-month lows on Tuesday and leading regional
falls due to weak sentiment in the U.S. 
    Broker NRA Capital said the gains could be short-lived.
    "Though there could be some momentary recovery today, we
think upside will be capped by profit-taking as there is still
pressure on the downside," it said in a report.
    Indonesia's index rose 0.4 percent, recouping some
losses earlier this week. Stock exchange data showed foreign
investors were buying into large caps such as Semen Indonesia
 and Telkom Indonesia.
    Malaysia was up 0.4 percent, coming off a
three-month low hit on Tuesday. The Philippines gained
0.4 percent after the consumer price index for January rose in
line with forecasts. 
    Vietnam was closed for the country's Lunar New Year
festival, and will reopen on Feb. 6. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0437 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   376.33        374.94       -0.37
 Singapore          2972.89       2965.80       +0.24
 Kuala Lumpur       1785.00       1778.83       +0.35
 Bangkok            1285.85       1276.84       +0.71
 Jakarta            4368.73       4352.26       +0.38
 Manila             5908.32       5886.01       +0.38
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