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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs   12  May  2011

Asean Stock Watch-May 12



A new plunge in the price of oil sent US stocks tumbling Wednesday, as shares in big energy companies pulled the major indexes down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 130.33 points (1.02 per cent) to finish at 12,630.03. The broader S&P 500 index lost 15.08 (1.11 per cent) at 1,342.08, the most since March 16 following its first three-day rally in two weeks, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 26.83 points (0.93 per cent) to 2,845.06.

Shares in the big oil companies were off by two percent or more after oil prices fell some 5.5 per cent, driven by data that suggested slowing demand in the United States and China, and the dollar's sharp rise in Wednesday trade.

Also contributing to the sell-off was a rare, short-lived halt in trading of oil and oil products futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange after gasoline prices hit their daily low limit.

Sharp drops in other commodities including farm and precious metals also stoked the rout. Ten-year Treasury yields decreased five basis points to 3.16 percent, near their 2011 closing low of 3.15 percent reached on May 6.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials plunged 3.9 percent at 4 p.m. Wednesday in New York following a two-day rebound from last week’s 11 percent rout, its worst since 2008. Oil and gasoline extended losses as data showed increases in U.S. supplies. The S&P 500 declined 1.1 percent and 10-year Treasury yields approached their lows of the year. The euro weakened against 13 of 16 major peers, slumping 1.4 percent to $1.4202, amid concern Greece will be forced to restructure debt.


The Jakarta Composite Index extended gains on Wednesday as commodities continued to recover from last week’s plunge and on expectations that the central bank would hold off on a rate hike.

“Any news or speculation on commodities and finance often drives the JCI quite significantly, as both sectors are the very backbone of the Indonesia equity market,” said Ibrahim, an analyst at Harvest International Futures.

The JCI rose 37.62 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 3,838.14. About 8.4 billion shares worth Rp 5 trillion ($585 million) changed hands. Gainers edged decliners 159 to 65.

International Nickel Indonesia, the state’s biggest producer, increased 1.6 percent to Rp 4,925. Aneka Tambang, the No. 2 producer, rose 2.3 percent to Rp 2,225. Nickel for three-month delivery climbed 2 percent to $24,850 a metric ton in London on Tuesday, the biggest gain since April 20.

Cement maker Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa gained 1.8 percent to Rp 17,000 after commissioner I Nyoman Tjager said it would pay a total dividend of Rp 968 billion, or Rp 263 a share, in July.

Plantation company Perusahaan Perkebunan London Sumatra Indonesia advanced 2.1 percent to Rp 2,450 after CIMB-GK Securities said the palm oil producer stood to gain from unit Salim Ivomas Pratama’s initial public offering.

Bakrie Sumatera Plantations, the nation’s No. 3 grower, jumped 6 percent to Rp 440. Palm oil for July-delivery climbed 0.8 percent to 3,283 ringgit ($1,101) a ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday.

The rupiah strengthened 0.3 percent to 8,524 against the dollar as regional stocks rallied on rising commodity prices.


Share prices on Bursa Malaysia continued the downtrend at midmorning today as losses on regional bourses weighed on the market, dealers said.

At 10.50am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was down 0.24 percent or 3.62 points at 1,532.41 after opening 2.61 points lower 1,533.42.

A dealer said the key FBM KLCI is likely to trade above 1,538.54.

He said renewed worries over the Greek debt and another sell-off in the commodities market led investors to exit from riskier assets, including stocks.

News of weak Chinese industrial growth, improving global grain supplies and rising US gasoline stocks triggered the second major sell-off in commodities.

Market breadth was negative with 313 losers as compared to 159 gainers.

Trading volume stood at 289.91 million shares valued at RM289.36 million.

The Plantation Index declined 13.83 points to 7,566.46 and the Industrial Index eased 2.15 points to 2,746.28 while the Finance Index rose 0.18 of a point to 14,251.38.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Emas Index slipped 20.27 points to 10,555.75, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Mid 70 Index was down 2.81 points at 11,418.45 and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Ace Index dropped 49.64 points to 4,302.62.

Actively traded stocks include DBE Gurney, declining half a point to 6.5 sen, Mclean Technologies-Warrants gained one sen to 15.5 sen while PJI was unchanged at 22 sen.

Among heavyweights, Maybank declined two sen to RM8.75, CIMB was one sen lower at RM8.21 while Petronas Chemicals was unchanged at RM7.03.


Philippine share prices on Wednesday stretched their winning run to three on expectations of favorable corporate earnings.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, the composite index rose 31.91 points, or 0.74 percent to 4,335.04, while the broader all-shares index gained 13.17 points, or 0.44 percent to 3,017.86. Gainers beat losers, 76 to 56, while 43 stocks were unchanged. A total of 690.67 million stocks worth P4.62 billion were traded.

“Earnings of select issues also gave enough reason for investors to do some stock picking,” said Astro del Casillo, managing director of First Grade Holdings.

Following the run-up in April, the Philippines’ main index is in need of a breather with technical indicators pointing to sell signals and suggesting near overbought conditions, according to the latest edition of The Market Call, a joint study by First Metro Investments Corp. and The University of Asia and the Pacific (FMIC-UA&P).

“Rather than seeing these as negative risk events, we think pullbacks should be viewed as opportunities to increase Philippine equity exposure,” the study said.

While inflation was at the higher range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas target, FMIC-UA&P maintains its bullish outlook on the market with external developments such as the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, Japan’s earthquake, and the euro zone’s debt woes factored in by the market.

Investors should watch out for key events such as the first quarter earnings results and the local gross domestic product report along with the potential credit upgrade of the Philippines by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

The peso, along with most Asian currencies, regained strength Wednesday as positive data from the US helped prop up investor sentiment on emerging currencies.

At the Philippine Dealing System, the local unit gained 8.5 centavos to close at 42.88 against the US dollar from Tuesday’s 42.965 finish.

Traders said the currency pair took its cue from favorable corporate earnings in the world’s biggest economy, coupled with oil prices falling to below $104 per barrel.

The peso-dollar pair opened at 42.87 and moved to a high of 42.89 and a low of 42.84. Total trading volume reached $946.25 million from $813.65 million the previous trading day. The currency pair is expected to trade at a range of 42.75 to 43.40 with direction mainly influenced by external development, traders said.


Singapore shares opened lower on Thursday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 3,165.33 in early trade, down 0.37 per cent, or 11.85 points.

Around 74.2 million shares exchanged hands.


The Thai stock market continues to attract foreign fund inflows, as it still offers the highest dividends among regional peers, according to the Stock Exchange of Thailand's (SET) Capital Market Research Institute.

Last month, the SET delivered a dividend of 3.53 percent while the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) generated 3.9 percent, the highest in the region, followed by Malaysia at 3.51 percent, Taiwan 3.04 percent and the Philippines 3.03 percent.

The exchange with the lowest price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) in the region was South Korea at 11.22 times. The SET's P/E stood at 12.85 times, Indonesia 15.22, Malaysia 14.94, Singapore 14.61, the Philippines 14 and Taiwan 13.79 times.

The highest fund inflows were in South Korea at US$3.92 billion, Taiwan $2.34 billion, Indonesia $1.56 billion, India $1.3 billion and Thailand $995 million.

Foreign investors continued to be net buyers with accumulated net purchases of 29.54 billion baht in April and 28.87 billion year-to-date.

"South Korea and Taiwan have benefited from Japan's disaster, as they can increase their supplies of electronic goods and auto parts," said Dr. Tientip.

"However, Thai listed firms reported strong earnings growth in the first quarter with a low P/E ratio compared with other markets in the region while offering the highest dividend yields, which should continue to draw fund inflows for months."

In April, the SET index closed at 1,093.56 points, up 4.4 percent from the previous month and 5.89% from the end of 2010, the second highest in the region.

Market capitalisation also increased to 8.86 trillion baht, while daily trading volume stood at 36 billion, up 44.45 percent from the same period the year before.

Trading accounts numbered 167,360, of which 26.26 percent were active. Average trading value was 3.84 million baht per account. Internet trading was 22.7 percent of the total.

Dr. Tientip said the SET was likely to rise until the election, based on trends from the four previous elections.

Last month, the Thailand Futures Exchange reached a record high with average trading of 30,569 contracts per day, with the most active products single stock futures and gold futures.

The SET made further gains on Wednesday, moving back above 1,100 to close at 1,100.48 points, up 14.92, in heavy turnover worth 46.9 billion baht.

The market was dominated by large-cap stocks with speculation in telecoms.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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.

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