SE Asia Stocks: Thai stocks falter on politics; others up
BANGKOK, June 5 – Thai stocks fell to their lowest level in four months today as growing political tension prompted broad based selling, but other Southeast Asian share markets pushed higher, helped by hopes for more action on the euro zone debt crisis.
Thailand’s benchmark SET index fell 1.4 per cent to 1,099.15, the lowest close since Feb 7, led by losses in big caps such as Siam Cement Pcl and Bangkok Bank Pcl.
Thai politics has heated up after anti-government yellow-shirted People’s Alliance for Democracy activists blockaded parliament last week and forced the government to postpone debate on a national reconciliation bill.
Brokers said investors could still stick to defensive stocks such as food and retail counters, which have unusually joined the rout.
“While both issues could lead to rising political confrontation in coming months, it would not cause a political U-turn into the chaos seen over the past years in our view,” said Suchart Techaposai, head of Thailand Country Research in a report.
“We view any market correction relating to the matter as an opportunity to buy into the ongoing private investment up-cycle led by FDI and Thai companies intending to improve productivity and lower costs.”
Indonesian shares rose 1.7 per cent after yesterday’s 3.8 per cent drop.
Stocks in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam also recouped some of yesterday’s losses, rising 0.5 per cent, 0.3 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 1.05 per cent, respectively. – Reuters