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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs 7 February 2013 

ASEAN Market Watch

The benchmark S&P 500 index has advanced 6 percent this year and reached to its highest since December 2007. The Dow industrials .DJI have risen above 14,000 recently, making it a challenge for investors to push stocks higher in the absence of strong positive catalysts.

According to Thomson Reuters data, of 301 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 68.1 percent have exceeded analysts' expectations, above a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters. In terms of revenue, 65.8 percent of companies have topped forecasts.

Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 4.7 percent, according to the data, above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.

China's January services Purchasing Managers Index was 54, up from 51.7 in December and reaching a four-month high, according to the HSBC Holdings plc released on Tuesday.

Increasing numbers of new service businesses and expanding job opportunities were the biggest contributors to the expansion.

"Following the growth bottoming out in the fourth quarter of 2012, that the GDP growth rebounded to 7.9 percent year-on-year, China's growth recovery is now on a firmer footing," said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist with HSBC.

"The brightening outlook is further supported by the ongoing manufacturing recovery and recent turnaround in labor market conditions," a research note from the bank said.

The HSBC figure is largely consistent with the non-manufacturing PMI released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, showing the five-month high of 56.2, because of the boosted domestic consumer retail industry.

Tokyo soared 3.37 percent, or 416.83 points, to 11,463.75—its highest close since September 2008 soon after the collapse of US bank Lehman Brothers and at the height of the financial crisis.

Sydney climbed 0.78 percent, or 38.3 points, to 4,921.0 and Hong Kong added 0.47 percent, or 108.40 points, to 23,256.93, while Shanghai ended flat, edging up 1.35 points to 2,434.48. But Seoul lost 1.99 points to close at 1,936.19.

– Mumbai’s Sensex index fell 0.10 percent, or 20.10 points, to 19,639.72.

The world’s biggest miner, Coal India, fell 2.03 percent to 342.4 rupees and engineering giant Bharat Heavy Electricals fell 1.72 percent to 208.55 rupees.

– Kuala Lumpur shares lost 1.18 percent, or 19.21 points, to close at 1,614.14.

Axiata Group dipped 2.1 percent to 6.16 ringgit, while CIMB Group Holdings fell 0.6 percent to 7.15. UMW Holdings gained 0.2 percent to 12.20 ringgit.

– Jakarta ended up 0.44 percent, or 19.54 points, at 4,498.98.

Asia Pacific Fibers rose 1.04 percent to 194 rupiah, Indofood Sukses Makmur climbed 4.96 percent to 6,350 rupiah, while carmaker Astra International slumped 0.66 percent to 7,550 rupiah.

– Singapore’s Straits Times Index closed up 0.12 percent, or 3.87 points, to 3,276.53.

DBS Group shed 1.58 percent to Sg$14.96 and Wilmar International dipped 2.90 percent to Sg$3.68.

– Bangkok lost 0.36 percent, or 5.37 points, to 1,500.35.

Kiatnakin Bank added 2.64 percent to 58.25 baht, while oil company PTT dropped 1.63 percent to 361 baht.

– Taipei rose 0.25 percent, or 19.71 points, at 7,906.65.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. gained 1.94 percent to Tw$105.0 while Hon Hai Precision was 0.60 percent higher at Tw$83.6.

– Manila closed 0.60 percent lower, shedding 39.14 points to 6,431.35.

SM Prime Holdings lost 3.85 percent to 17.46 pesos, Alliance Global fell 0.24 percent to 20.45 pesos and Ayala Land gave up 2.31 percent to 29.60 pesos.

Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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