SE Asia Stocks-S'pore weak amid proposed reforms, Thai political risks weigh on SET

Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:20am EST

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Feb 10 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks eased on Monday as a
proposed reform of stock-market rules kept investors cautious,
while Thai stocks gave up early gains amid the protracted
political risks at home and the impact on the economic outlook.
    Stocks in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam
eked out modest gains, in line with Asian stock markets after
U.S. nonfarm payrolls fell far short of expectations for a
second month in January.  
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 inched up 0.3 percent.
    Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index edged
down 0.2 percent, hovering around its day low of 3,008 level and
reversing a 0.8 percent rise on Friday. 
    Bourse operator Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) was
among the underperformers, with its shares down more than 1
percent at S$6.71, the lowest since November 2012.
    SGX and the Monetary Authority of Singapore said after the
market close on Friday that they were consulting the market on a
series of changes such as minimum trading prices, new collateral
rules and short-selling reporting. 
    The proposed reforms could rattle near-term trading
sentiment while over the long term, it would enhance
transparency and prevent speculation and market rumours, said a
Singapore-based analyst at UOB Kay Hian Securities.
    "It's a net long-term positive," the analyst said.
    In Bangkok, the SET index edged down 0.01 percent to
1,296.41 by midday.
    Traders cited technical-led selling around a key 1,300
resistance level, with large caps, including Kasikornbank
 and PTT Exploration and Production, taking a
hit.
    "The market should be capped around 1,300-1,310 because of
the political headwinds, with the focus on the government's
solution to the rice pledging scheme and the protests of unpaid
rice farmers," said Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at
Phillip Securities.
    Malaysia rose 0.5 percent, led by large cap Tenaga
Nasional, while the Philippines gained 0.8
percent to a more than one-week high. Indonesia rose 0.3
percent to its highest in more than two weeks.
    Jakarta-based MNC Securities said earnings plays would
further lift the market. There was a chance the index would
cross the 4,500-mark this week ahead of corporates' 2013
earnings releases, it said in a report. 
    "However by Thursday, investors are expected to refrain from
stock-buying in anticipation of the Bank Indonesia rate
decision," MNC Securities said.
    
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0532 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   382.42        381.62       +0.21
 Singapore          3008.01       3013.14       -0.17
 Kuala Lumpur       1817.39       1808.59       +0.49
 Bangkok            1296.41       1296.49       -0.01
 Jakarta            4479.93       4466.67       +0.30
 Manila             6056.42       6011.14       +0.75
 Ho Chi Minh         552.64        549.76       +0.52
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