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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs   21  March 2011

A Wild Week in ASEAN

Shayne Heffernan

A Wild Week in Asean

Prepare for the wildest week the markets around the world have seen for some time. It is a fact that the sudden increase in uncertainty had caused a corresponding rise in trading based on emotion rather than facts or fundamentals.

The best thing to do is not follow the crowd this week. My suggestion is identify the companies that you want to own, and only buy them on dips, swings this week can be dramatic and as Warren Buffett has proven time and again you will always make money by buying quality companies in difficult times.

The CBOE Volatility Index VIX surged nearly 30 percent on Wednesday after confusing statements from officials on the situation in Japan. The gauge rose nearly 60 percent above its 50-day moving average, which has happened only a handful of times in the past 20 years.

Wall Street ended higher on Friday, but indexes finished lower last week. The Dow ended down 1.5 percent, its biggest weekly decline since August. The S&P amp fell 1.9 percent and the Nasdaq lost 2.6 percent.

What will matter this week

The Middle East

Trouble has spread across the entire region and the instability is putting upward pressure on oil prices and that will create global growth concerns and weigh on stocks.


European and U.S. forces have unleashed warplanes and cruise missiles against Libyan targets under a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military action to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

U.S. and British ships and submarines fired more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libyan targets to take out their air defenses, although no U.S. aircraft were flying over Libya.

Economic reports this week will include existing home sales and new home sales due on Monday and Wednesday, respectively. Durable good orders and jobless claims are due on Thursday and GDP is due on Friday.


Bahrain's opposition asked for U.N. and American intervention in the government crackdown on the Shiite protests trying to loosen the monarchy's grip, in a brief protest Sunday in the capital that disbanded before police could arrive to break it up.


Dozens of Saudis protested outside the Interior Ministry in Riyadh Sunday to demand the release of prisoners.

Large numbers of riot police were guarding the ministry, and witnesses say a number of protesters were arrested after trying to go into the building.

Protests are banned in Saudi Arabia, and King Abdullah has been offering incentives to prevent the unrest sweeping the Arab world from taking hold in his country. Several small demonstrations have taken place.


Three separate Japanese issues are on investors radars this week.


The devastating earthquake has done enormous damage to one of the world’s largest economies.

Nuclear meltdown

Japanese officials reported progress Sunday in their battle to gain control over a leaking, tsunami-stricken nuclear complex, though the crisis was far from over, with the discovery of more radiation-tainted vegetables and tap water adding to public fears about contaminated food and drink.

The announcement by Japan's Health Ministry late Sunday that tests had detected excess amounts of radioactive elements on canola and chrysanthemum greens marked a low moment in a day that had been peppered with bits of positive news: First, a teenager and his grandmother were found alive nine days after being trapped in their earthquake-shattered home. Then, the operator of the overheated nuclear plant said two of the six reactor units were safely cooled down.

Bank of Japan Currency intervention

While Japan’s currency rose 3.74 percent against the dollar in the six days after the March 11 tremor, it is poised to drop in 2011 by the most in six years.

In the USA

Markets see new economic data on U.S. housing, gross domestic product and durable goods orders, but these may be relegated to second place behind traders' reaction to the latest headlines.


Shayne Heffernan brings more than 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over US$500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of US$15billion. He has managed and overseen start-ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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