SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares fall amid political tensions; others up

Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:40am EDT

BANGKOK, March 24 (Reuters) - Thai shares touched two-week
lows on Monday, underperforming other Southeast Asian stock
markets, as investors trimmed holdings in shares of
tourism-related and consumer companies amid concerns about
domestic political tensions.
    The key SET index was down 0.6 percent at 0412 GMT,
falling almost 1 percent at one point to 1,348.24, the lowest
since March 10. Top losers included shares of retailer CP All
 and airport operator Airports of Thailand.
    Sentiment is likely to remain weak as investors await the
Election Commission's conclusion on a new election expected
later in the day following the Constitutional Court's ruling on
Friday that the Feb. 2 election was invalid. 
    Supporters of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said
over the weekend they will take to the streets as moves to
impeach her gather pace, raising the spectre of confrontation
with protesters who helped scupper a February election she had
been expected to win. 
    "The market is likely in for a volatile day today on further
foreign net selling as the baht weakened for the fourth
straight day," said a strategist at broker Krungsri Securities.
 
    Other markets in the region followed Asian stock markets
higher, with Singapore, the Philippines and
Vietnam each climbing almost 1 percent while Malaysia
 and Indonesia both posted smaller gains.
    Market breadth was relatively cautious after the China HSBC
flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to an
eight-month low in March.  
    Singapore-based NRA Capital expects profit taking to cap
gains on the city state bourse.
    "Attempts to rally will likely be met with profit taking as
liquidity concerns seems to be increasingly important in China
and Chinese investors reportedly liquidating overseas assets in
a hurry," the broker said in a report.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0412 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   401.12        400.06       +0.27
 Singapore          3102.70       3073.39       +0.95
 Kuala Lumpur       1829.62       1820.48       +0.50
 Bangkok            1352.19       1360.50       -0.61
 Jakarta            4708.54       4700.21       +0.18
 Manila             6395.59       6339.26       +0.89
 Ho Chi Minh         607.25        601.75       +0.91
 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.   

 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Editing by Anupama
Dwivedi)