BANGKOK, Aug 5 Southeast Asian stocks were flat
to weaker on Monday amid selective buying in battered large caps
including Malaysian banks and Philippine SM Investments
Corp but activity dropped across exchanges in
Malaysian key index edged up 0.11 percent, with
shares in AMMB Holdings rising 2.6 percent, the top
Large caps led the Malaysian benchmark lower last week after
Fitch Ratings downgraded the country's credit outlook.
In Manila, shares in SM Investment, the top company by
market value, gained almost 1 percent at one point after
Friday's 8.6 percent drop following a share placement at
Singapore's Straits Times Index slid 0.6 percent as
telecom firm Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and port
operator Hutchison Port Holdings Trust were major
losers as both stocks went ex-dividend.
In a rangebound session, the Thai main SET index
inched down 0.08 percent to 1,419.80 at midday in a thin trading
volume that was 21 percent of the full day average over the past
Investors were cautious over domestic political developments
as anti-government demonstrators continued a peaceful protest to
oppose the amnesty bill set to be deliberated by parliament this
week, brokers said.
The SET index staged a mild rebound in morning trade after
last week's drop of almost 4 percent, when it underperformed
regional peers, partly due to political concerns.
Broker KGI Securities said sentiment was supportive from the
U.S. financial markets as lower-than-expected July jobs data
boosted investor belief that the stimulus program, known as QE,
would remain in place
"However, we believe the recovery in SET remains fragile and
sensitive to local political news flow," it said in a report.
Most Southeast Asian bourses are in a shortened session this
week, with Singapore and Malaysia shut on Thursday and Friday.
The Philippines will be closed on Friday, with Indonesia closed
this week for Eid Al-Fitr holidays.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0651 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index* 423.98 422.88 +0.26
Singapore 3232.40 3254.13 -0.67
Kuala Lumpur 1785.52 1782.51 +0.17
Bangkok 1419.80 1420.94 -0.08
Manila 6513.98 6533.95 -0.31
Ho Chi Minh 493.46 494.66 -0.24