South East Asian stocks edge higher

Reuters Bangkok | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 29, 2014

Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged higher on Monday as domestic institutions bought large-caps ahead of year-end but shares in Malaysia’s AirAsia plunged after one of the company’s aircraft went missing on Sunday.

Singapore’s key Straits Times Index rose 0.3 per cent to 3,364.64, extending gains made over the past seven sessions, while the Indonesian key index added 0.2 per cent, on track for a third straight rise.

The Thai SET index slightly drifted into negative territory at 1,509.25, after posting modest gains in the morning session.

Broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities projected a trading range of 1,495-1,520 for SET for the day.

“A light trading volume will make the SET Index more volatile. However, window dressing and LTF money will help supporting today’s SET Index,’’ it said in a report.

Long-term equity funds

Long-term equity funds (LTFs) are more popular towards the end of the year as they receive favourable tax treatment. About 3.6 billion shares had changed hands on the Thai stock market by mid-day, compared with a full day volume of 15 billion shares on Friday, stock exchange data showed.

In Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia shares fell 7.8 per cent, their biggest one-day drop in more than three years, after Sunday’s incident involving the airline’s Indonesia unit.

The Bangkok-listed shares of Asia Aviation, the holding company of Thai AirAsia, in which the AirAsia group holds a 45 per cent stake, were down 3.6 per cent on Monday.

Broker Asia Plus Securities rated Thai Asia Aviation shares ‘buy’ as it expected no financial impact due to Indonesia’s AirAsia incident.

“The share weakness was due to an indirect impact in terms of weak sentiment on Indonesia’s AirAsia. We keep our earnings forecast for Thai Asia Aviation,’’ it said.

The Philippine stock index rose 0.62 per cent on its last trading day for the year. It ended the year at a two-week high of 7,230.57, rising 22.8 per cent in 2014, among the region’s outperformers. That compares with a modest 1.3 per cent rise in 2013.

The Philippine stock market will be closed from December 30 to January 2, reopening on January 5.

Among the actively-traded stocks in the region, shares of Singapore DBS Group Holdings climbed 1.1 per cent, Thailand’s Kasikornbank was up 0.4 per cent and Indonesia’s Astra International gained 0.7 per cent.

Published on December 29, 2014
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