January 30, 2014 / 7:46 AM / 4 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most weak after Fed tapering; Thai poll in focus

BANGKOK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks mostly
fell on Thursday amid renewed risk aversion after the U.S.
Federal Reserve further scaled back its stimulus, with the
Singapore index heading for its worst monthly loss since August,
while Indonesia trimmed some gains.
    Shares in emerging markets saw a bout of selling in large
caps amid weakness in broader Asia, with MSCI's broadest index
of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan easing 0.6
    Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.7
percent, with United Overseas Bank and Singapore
Telecommunications shares among those actively traded.
    The benchmark is poised to end the month more than four
percent lower, among the region's underperformers. Singapore,
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will be closed for the
Lunar New Year holiday on Friday, reopening on Monday.
    Indonesia's main index was down 0.6 percent as
investors booked profits in recent gainers such as Bank Mandiri
 and Indocement. It is set to end the month
2.7 percent higher.
    Technically, the index was bound for a near-term correction.
    "As its MACD formed a dead cross, we expect Jakarta's
Composite Index to move downward today within the range of
4,358-4,459," broker Trimegah Securities said in a report.
    Jakarta racked up gains of more than 2 percent over Tuesday
and Wednesday after an upgrade by Morgan Stanley to
"equal-weight" from "underweight", citing improvements in
valuation and trade balance.
    "Indonesia's overall rank improves to #22 from #17 in our
model, leading to an upgrade to EW," it said in a report dated
Jan. 28.
    In Bangkok, the SET index fell 0.9 percent to the
lowest in more than two weeks, with losers including
Kasikornbank and Advanced Info Service.
    Investors stayed on the defensive ahead of the Feb. 2 poll,
brokers said.
    "Political risks remain as some violence will likely take
place on election day, Feb. 2, halting new investment,"
strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in a
    Thailand's army will increase the number of troops in the
capital ahead of Sunday's election, which anti-government
protesters say they will disrupt as part of their campaign to
overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. 
    Philippine shares edged down 0.6 percent, with a
month to date gain of 2.3 percent. Bucking the trend, Malaysian
shares were up 0.8 percent, paring earlier losses.
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 Change at 0654 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   376.44        378.78       -0.62
 Singapore          3027.22       3047.93       -0.68
 Kuala Lumpur       1804.03       1789.23       +0.83
 Bangkok            1260.49       1271.42       -0.87
 Jakarta            4388.73       4417.35       -0.64
 Manila             6032.26       6069.84       -0.62
 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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