March 12 Most Southeast Asian stocks fell on
Wednesday, led by Philippine shares, as concerns over economic
growth in China and the United States hit investor appetite for
the region's risk assets amid continuing political tension in
The Philippines stock index was down 1 percent by
midday, falling from its highest close since Nov. 4 hit in the
previous session. Thailand's SET index edged down 0.2
percent from the previous' day's three-month closing high.
Analysts said Chinese economic concerns and local politics
had dented investor sentiment for Thai stocks.
However, the Thai central bank slashed its benchmark
interest rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, which is expected
to help the economy cope with damage from months of political
"This is a boost the stock market and will help to cushion
the losses from negative political news," said Teerada
Charnyingyong, a strategist at Phillip Securities.
In terms of valuation, Thailand stocks are cheaper with a
12-month forward price-to-earning ratio at 12.6, lower than
Philippines (16.9), Malaysia (15.3), Indonesia (14.2), and
Singapore (13.7), Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.
"The Thai equity market has been discounted on the macro
picture and companies' earnings slowdown as a result of
political uncertainty," Charnyingyong said.
"The political tension seemed easing in short-term. However,
it is too early to conclude that the political crisis has been
resolved as we still have no sign of getting the new government
to rule the country. The negotiation would take some time," she
Weak Chinese exports, which tumbled in February, added to
fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, while
U.S. economic data gave no clear indication of whether the
world's largest economy's troubles were merely weather-related
or something more worrisome.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times index was down
0.7 percent, Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.2 percent,
and Malaysia's share index was down 0.5 percent.
Outperforming the region and Asia, Vietnam's benchmark VN
Index gained 1 percent, nearing the year-high reached in
late February, supported by property, energy and insurance
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0720 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index* 401.97 404.57 -0.64
Singapore 3107.01 3129.40 -0.72
Kuala Lumpur 1819.60 1828.55 -0.49
Bangkok 1362.08 1364.28 -0.16
Jakarta 4695.71 4704.21 -0.18
Manila 6462.47 6529.58 -1.03
Ho Chi Minh 594.21 588.50 +0.97
* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.