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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs 13 March 2013 

ASEAN Markets Preview

After a light economic calendar the last couple of days, investors will turn their attention to retail sales data on Wednesday to get a sense of how consumers are faring. Sales are expected to have increased 0.5 percent in February.

Adding to Tuesday's weakness, Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank and a member of the European Central Bank's governing council, said the euro zone crisis was not over.

Pullbacks during the rally so far this year have not been too deep as investors look for a good place to buy. Market moves have often been muted in recent days, even as stocks have ground higher.

The healthcare sector rose 0.4 percent. Traditionally considered a defensive bet, the sector has been one of the leaders of the rally so far this year, accelerating by nearly 12 percent.

In the short-term, however, healthcare appears to be overbought, suggesting investors may start to put their money elsewhere or take profits. Based on the relative strength index, healthcare has been overbought since the beginning of the month.

The drop in tech shares brought the sector below the overbought level after briefly crossing above it on Monday.

China's achievements over the last decade, as summarized in Premier Wen Jiabao's recent government work report, are extraordinary, and so are the challenges the country faces moving forward, said a China expert in Chicago.

"It would be impossible not to be impressed by how much China has accomplished, and impossible not to be impressed by how big the problems that still remain," said Kenneth Pomeranz, Professor of History at the University of Chicago, as he reflected on Premier Wen' s government work report delivered at the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress.

Pomeranz also serves as hte president of the American Historical Association and is the author of The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy. He is regarded as one of the world's leading China specialists.

A key reason that Pomeranz attributed to the success of the fast development in China is the strong central leadership.

"China got through the 2008 financial crisis better than almost any other place because the central government could push through a stimulus program quite quickly," said Pomeranz in a Xinhua interview. "They could take a lot of construction projects that were in the planning stage and accelerate them. That was quite impressive," he continued.

On major challenges such as environment problems and corruption, Pomeranz stated that it is less clear if such top-down approaches will be adequate for improvement.

Tokyo slipped 0.28 percent, or 34.24 points, to 12,314.81, Seoul lost 0.5 percent, or 10.01 points, to 1,993.34 while Sydney fell 0.56 percent, or 29.0 points, to 5,117.9.

Hong Kong was 0.87 percent lower, shedding 200.22 points to 22,890.60 while Shanghai lost 1.04 percent, or 23.98 points, to 2,286.61.

– Wellington rose 0.28 percent, or 12.19 points, to 4,378.76.

Telecom rose 1.2 percent to NZ$2.45 and Auckland Airport added 2.1 percent to NZ$2.88 but Fletcher Building shed 1.7 percent to NZ$9.10.

– Manila fell 0.40 percent, or 27.53 points, to 6,786.42.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone gained 0.34 percent to 2,960 pesos but SM Investment rose 0.63 percent to 1,104 pesos.

– Taipei fell 0.55 percent, or 44.01 points, to 7,994.71.

Fubon Financial Holding shed 4.32 percent at Tw$42.1 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 0.49 percent higher at Tw$102.5.

– Bangkok ended flat, shedding 0.97 points to 1,576.68.

Telecoms company Advanced Info Service jumped 4.46 percent to 234 baht, while oil company Bangchak Petroleum lost 3.42 percent to 35.25 baht.

– Singapore rose 0.31 percent, or 10.05 points, to 3,303.02.

Real estate developer Capitaland gained 1.42 percent to Sg$3.58 and United Overseas Bank increased 0.20 percent to Sg$19.85.

– Kuala Lumpur closed flat, slipping 1.42 points to 1,656.54.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings dipped 1.3 percent to 4.71 ringgit, while Hong Leong Financial Group gained 2.1 percent to 15.38 ringgit.

– Mumbai fell 0.41 percent, or 81.29 points, at 19,564.92 points.

Hindustan Unilever closed up 1.16 percent at 444.10 rupees while Larsen & Toubro was down 0.49 percent at 1,498.40 rupees.

– Jakarta was closed for a public holiday.

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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