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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs 17 June 2013 

The FTSE Straits Times Index (STI) ended +22.01 points higher or +0.70% higher to 3,183.44, taking the year-to-date performance to +0.52%.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained +0.51% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index gained +0.70%.

The top active stocks were Singtel (+0.55%), DBS (-0.69%), GLP (-1.11%), Wilmar (+3.51%), and GoldenAgr (+1.75%).

The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Industrials which gained +1.59%. The two biggest stocks of the Industrials Index are Jardine Matheson Holdings (+2.71%) and Jardine Strategic Holdings (+3.24%). The underperforming sector, FTSE ST Health Care, declined -0.07% with Biosensors International declining -0.91% and Raffles Medical Group declining -0.34%. The FTSE ST Real Estate Index gained +0.82%, the FTSE ST Consumer Services Index gained +0.05% and the FTSE ST Utilities index gained +0.93% .

The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were SPDR GOLD SHARES (+0.37%), DBXT CSI300 ETF 10 (-1.06%) and NIKKO AM SINGAPORE STI ETF (+0.94%).

The three most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were CapitaMall (-0.49%), Ascendasreit (+0.43%) and CapitaComm (+0.99%).

The most active index warrants by value today were HSI21000MBePW130829 (unchanged), HSI22000MBeCW130730 (+14.29%) and HSI21600MBePW130730 (-13.90%).

The most active stock warrants by value today were DBS MB eCW130910 (-8.65%), KepCorp MBeCW130902 (+7.87%), and HutchWhamUBeCW130927 (-48.11%).

*Please note the Real Estate, Consumer Services and Utilities sectors will be the focus of SGX My Gateway Educational events in 2Q13.

he FBM KLCI index increased 9.98 points or 0.57% on Monday. The Finance Index gained 0.76% to 16795.84 points, the Properties Index increased 1.56% to 1413.99 points and the Plantation Index shed 0.06% to 8395.28 points. The market traded within a range of 14.85 points between an intra-day high of 1773.65 and a low of 1758.80 during the session.

Actively traded stocks include LUSTER, LUSTER-WA, MAS, WINSUN, ASIAPAC, PATIMAS, PSIPTEK, DVM, ETITECH, and TGOFFS. Trading volume increased to 2113.4 mil shares worth RM1663.98 mil as compared to Friday’s 1869.51 mil shares worth RM2119.07 mil.

Leading Movers were ARMADA (+13 sen to RM3.89), UEMLAND (+8 sen to RM3.26), ASTRO (+6 sen to RM3.04), MAYBANK (+20 sen to RM10.38) and GENM (+7 sen to RM3.92). Lagging Movers were IOICORP (-1 sen to RM5.39) and PETDAG (-6 sen to RM25.40). Market breadth was positive with 405 gainers as compared to 336 losers.

The KLCI started the week on a positive note, ended at 1772.17 points. The gain in our benchmark index was in tandem with the firmer movement of most Asean markets with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index being the top gainers of the day. Market sentiment was resilient despite investors were awaiting clearer investment direction from the U.S Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on the Quantitative Easing 3’s bond buying policy at the upcoming two-day (18th and 19th June 2013) Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

The SET Index traded in the range of 1,351.95 and 1,539 points and closed on Friday at 1,465.27, down 3.36%
on the week, with daily average trading volume of 63.98 billion baht.
Foreign investors were net buyers on the last two days but net sellers for the week of 11.62 billion baht, followed by brokers at 4.86 billion.
Local retail investors were net buyers of 8.05 billion baht and local institutions bought 8.43 billion.

Big movers: Shin Corp (INTUCH) shed 4.4% on the week to 82.25 baht, ADVANC was down 4.85% to 255 baht, and KTB fell 2.9% to 20.30. Natural Park (N-PARK) remained tops in share volume, plunging 9.1% to 0.10 baht last week.
Speculators chased IEC, the week's top gainer, up 33.3% to four satang.  
Tong Hua Communication (TH),the top loser, fell 25.8% to 1.75 baht

- Thailand exported 86,577 automobiles in May, up 28% from April but just 0.7% from a year earlier. Five-month exports rose 21% year-on-year to 438,184 units worth 196.1 billion baht, up 14.9%.

- The Bank of Thailand says Thai exports in the first four months of 2013 were better than those of other countries in Asia. However, it admitted that many SMEs were affected by the increase in the minimum wage to 300 baht a day.

- The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) rose for the first time in four months, to 94.3 in May from 92.9 in April, on the weaker baht, which eased concerns about trade competitiveness, and the cut in the policy rate to 2.50%
- CP All shareholders approved the retailer's 189-billion-baht acquisition of Siam Makro Plc, the country's biggest ever takeover.

Asian stocks
Asian stocks edged up Monday amid hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve will put off plans to wind down its stimulus program.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225, the regional heavyweight, jumped 2.2 percent to 12,960.81, extending Friday's 2.4 percent gain. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 21,251.17 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.3 percent to 4,905.90. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 1,887.08. Benchmarks in mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan also rose while Thailand's SET fell.

Disappointing reports about the U.S. economy weighed on Wall Street stocks Friday, as did concerns that the Federal Reserve could announce plans to cut back its stimulus program later in the week. The Dow Jones industrial dropped 0.7 percent to 15,070.18. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.6 percent to 1,626.73. The Nasdaq composite index shed 0.6 percent to 3,423.56.

Markets have been spooked since late May when Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank might pull back on its aggressive support for the U.S. economy if indicators, especially hiring, improve. Policymakers at the Fed will start a two-day meeting Tuesday to discuss the central bank's next steps.

Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia, said he doesn't think the Fed is ready to harness in its stimulus program just yet.

"It's whether or not Bernanke blinks, but I don't think so," Lucas said. "The most likely outcome is the Fed will reconfirm that unemployment remains stubbornly high, several key indictors continue to fluctuate and the U.S. economy is still not holding its own."

The Fed buys $85 billion in bonds every month as part of a campaign to keep interest rates extremely low. The aim is to encourage borrowing, spending and investing. Some investors worry that long-term interest rates could spike when the Fed pulls back, raising borrowing costs and threatening the economic recovery. Higher yields for government bonds have already started pushing mortgage rates up.

Credit Agricole CIB in a report also said no changes are expected in the Fed's policies but Bernanke's ability to communicate effectively the Fed's strategy over tapering is crucial to determine whether market volatility persists or lessens.

Investors expect a reduction in the Fed's asset purchases later this year. Such stimulus has been a key driver of the rally in stock markets and other asset prices. Markets are also looking to this week's policy meeting for clues on the scale and timing of any reductions.

Benchmark oil for July delivery fell 20 cents to $97.65 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.16 to close at $97.85 a barrel on the Nymex on Friday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3322 from $1.3340 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 94.76 yen from 94.34 yen.

US stocks
Tepid economic reports helped push the stock market lower on Friday as a turbulent week came to an end.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey reported that consumer sentiment fell in June compared with the previous month, coming in lower than economists had expected. A measure of industrial production in the US also fell short.

A report on the US economy from the International Monetary Fund, a global lender, did little to help the mood. The IMF said US government spending cuts that kicked in March 1 were “ill-designed’’ and would hurt economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial dropped 93 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,082 as of 1 p.m. (1500 GMT). The Dow and other indexes flitted from slight gains to losses in morning trading, a contrast to the sudden lurches in previous days. All three major indexes are on track to lose 1 percent for the week.

Trading has been volatile since late May as traders try to figure out when the Federal Reserve will dial back its aggressive support for the US economy. This week was no different: The Dow slumped a total of 243 points on Tuesday and Wednesday then jumped 180 points Thursday.

The Fed buys $85 billion in bonds every month as part of a campaign to keep interest rates extremely low. The aim is to encourage borrowing, spending and investing. Some investors worry that long-term interest rates could spike when the Fed pulls back, rattling lending markets that keep money flowing throughout the economy. Mortgage rates have already started climbing as yields on benchmark government bonds rise.

Policymakers at the Fed meet Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the US economy and the central bank’s economic stimulus policies.

Scott King, senior fiduciary investment adviser at Unified Trust in Lexington, Kentucky, said that investors in recent weeks have been influenced more by wondering about what the Fed might do than by the underlying economy.

“You have a number of Fed governors saying the opposite to what (Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke is saying,’’ King said. “And that’s made the markets more jittery.’’

King said investors were disappointed Friday by the drop in consumer confidence. He described the economy as “plodding along.’’

“Wage growth continues to be pretty meager, and unemployment continues to be lackluster,’’ King said.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell seven points to 1,628.

Banks led seven of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 lower. Utilities and health-care companies made slight gains. Investors tend to favor these safety plays when they want stable companies that pay high dividends.

The S&P 500 hit a record high of 1,669 on May 21. The next day, Fed officials said they would consider pulling back on their stimulus program once the economy looks healthy enough. The S&P has fallen 2 percent since then.

In other Friday trading, the Nasdaq composite index fell 15 points to 3,429. The price of crude oil rose 96 cents, or 1 percent, to $97.65 a barrel, near its highest level of the year, as traders reacted to news that the US would provide weapons to rebel forces in Syria.

Gold rose $9.70, or 0.7 percent, to $1,387 an ounce.

In the market for US government bonds, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.11 percent from 2.15 percent late Thursday. The yield reached a 14-month high on Tuesday of 2.29 percent.


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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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