BANGKOK, Jan 10 Thai stocks retreated on Friday
amid rising risk aversion ahead of a large-scale anti-government
protest, while major Southeast Asian stock markets such as
Singapore and Malaysia moved narrowly as investors across Asia
awaited the U.S. jobs report.
Investors cashed in recent gains in large caps such as
retailer CP All and satellite operator Thaicom
, sending Thailand's main SET index 1.3
percent lower to 1,241.46.
The selling trimmed the gain of the benchmark so far in the
week to 1.4 percent, but it was still among the region's
Technically, the fall of the SET below 1,250 could lead to a
further downside to 1,225 as the market remained wary of the
political uncertainty, strategists at Krungsri Securities said.
"The political situation looks increasingly uncertain as
anti-government protestors plan to shut down Bangkok on Monday,
Jan. 13 in what may be the largest rally in Thai history," they
wrote in a note to clients.
Stocks in Singapore and Malaysia were
nearly unchanged, in line with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which inched
up 0.04 percent.
Investors were reluctant to take positions ahead of Friday's
U.S. nonfarm payrolls report. Payrolls are forecast to have
risen by a solid 196,000 in December, according to a Reuters
survey of economists, just below November's count of 203,000.
In Jakarta, the index edged up 0.7 percent, helping
erase its week-to-date loss to 0.6 percent. Construction and
consumer stocks led among the gainers, including Charoen
Pokphand Indonesia and Indocement.
Trimegah Securities expects the index to move in a range of
4,182 to 4,236 on the day. The index was at 4,229.81 at midday.
"Upbeat comments from Bank Indonesia raised optimism level
on domestic economy," the broker said in a report.
Indonesia's central bank left its key reference rate
unchanged on Thursday, as expected, as the country's current
account deficit narrowed. Central bank deputy governor Perry
Warijiyo said he was hopeful the current account gap would be
less than 3 percent in 2014.
Philippine shares were down 0.6 percent, on track for
a 0.8 percent loss on the week, while Vietnam rose 1.2
percent, poised for a gain of more than 3 percent on the week.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0502 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index* 381.01 381.27 -0.07
Singapore 3145.34 3145.41 0.00
Kuala Lumpur 1827.51 1828.21 -0.04
Bangkok 1241.46 1258.26 -1.34
Jakarta 4229.81 4201.22 +0.68
Manila 5900.23 5937.51 -0.63
Ho Chi Minh 523.06 516.98 +1.18