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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs   7  March 2011

ASEAN Markets to Continue Rally

Shayne Heffernan

Markets will be dominated by oil and issues in the Middle East this week. So far reality has ruled and strong economic numbers have lifted world markets.

Sentiment is volatile in this type of environment and is driving large daily swings as traders sway between the fear that oil prices rises will hurt consumers and stall the recovery and the huge relief that the U.S. labor market is turning a corner.

Reports of escalated fighting in Libya and protests in Bahrain, Yemen and top oil-exporter, Saudi Arabia, rattled investors on Friday: oil rose, equities fell.

Oil Stocks to Rally

Many hedge funds are trading the diverse correlations between oil prices and selected equities that have grown in recent weeks, while others are building their exposure to oil stocks and pulling back in other areas of the market.

The S&P 500 is down less than 2 percent from a near three-year high hit in late February, which even all concede is a robust performance.

So far the trading only seems to be an adjustment and reallocation of risk within the equities markets rather than a move out of equities altogether.

The S&P energy sector has risen 10 percent since early 2011 when demonstrations in the Arab world commenced. By comparison the wider market has crept up by just a fraction of that. Over the same period Brent crude oil rose nearly 18 percent to more than $116 per barrel.

If oil prices spike higher, other areas of the market could start to look more vulnerable, so be vigilant this week, review the fundamentals of your portfolio.

On a positive note spending, savings and jobs data during the week continued to inspire confidence in the consumer. Although Friday's payrolls report fell short, many investors feel the jobs situation has finally turned.

In Asia bargains are everywhere, Thailand has some serious issues coming in the second half of the year. An election is certain at some stage and with it will come a storm of protests and demonstrations that will undermine the Stock Exchange of Thailand's value.

This will be the golden age of buying stocks in Thailand, save your money for this event.

Singapore is another once in a life time chance, buy now and buy hard, Singapore Exchange is the best run exchange in the world and it will be a major financial centre in no time.


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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