ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Asean Stock Watch-May 16
Trading on Bursa Malaysia is expected to be slow Monday as tomorrow is a holiday with a sideways trading pattern seen for the near-term.
HwangDBS Vickers Research said in a report that the bourse would “oscillate with a marginal positive bias today”. It added that the benchmark index would probably rise towards the immediate resistance target of 1,550 but buying interest could be fairly light ahead of the public holiday tomorrow.
The FBM KLCI bucked the regional trend with a 0.14 percent gain to 1,542.93 an hour into trading while Singapore's Straits Times Index was two-thirds of a percent lower at 3,142.22. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell four-fifths of a percent to 23,083.33 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.63 percent to 9,587.85.
Shanghai's A share index was marginally lower at 2,869.38 and the Taipei Index was down 0.63 percent at 8,949.73.
At Bursa Malaysia, decliners outpaced advancers 236 to 170 while 228 other counters were unchanged. There were 176.37 million shares done with a total turnover of RM165.64 million. Among the counters in focus, Maxis gained 10 sen to RM5.57 and SP Setia added 11 sen to RM4.19. The Tradewinds group was also in focus, with Tradewinds advancing 21 sen to RM9.02 while Tradewinds Plantations was 11 sen higher at RM3.37.
Other plantation stocks that saw gains included MHC, up 9 sen to RM2.55, KLK added 12 sen to RM21.14 and Batu Kawan gained 12 sen to RM16.32.
Spot gold fell US$5.20 to US$1,489.95 an ounce while spot silver was down 32 cents to US$35.05. Nymex crude oil dropped US$1.06 to US$98.59 per barrel.
The ringgit was quoted at 3.035 to the US dollar and 4.272 to the euro.
Philippine share prices are expected to remain in consolidation mode because of rising commodity prices coupled with concerns on slowing growth in major economies.
The market has been consolidating within a range of 4,250 to 4,340, influenced by corporate earnings and rising commodity prices.
“If this persists, investors’ sentiments may turn sour,” said Maria Arlysa Narciso of AB Capital Securities Inc. Week on week, the main index advanced 0.81 percent or 35 points.
Corporate earnings are expected to remain the primary driver, but the first quarter earnings reports of companies showed they may be unable to fully match or outperform last year’s figures. “This period though, most companies had to face a change in economic environment and a shift in policy,” said Narciso.
The monetary board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has raised key interest rates in its last two meetings by 25 basis points each time to cool down threats of rising inflation.
The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 100.17 points or 0.79 percent to 12,595.75 on concerns about a worldwide economic slowdown, the expected end of a supportive US Federal Reserve policy and a deteriorating Eurozone debt problem.
So far, the inconsistent negative numbers from abroad have not flustered domestic investors enough to result in a massive sell-off, said Jun Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. “What we have mostly seen in the recent decline, while indeed reactions to drops in global equity markets, were no more than profit-taking on the back of the resurfacing of doubts on the strength of global economic recovery,” said Calaycay.
SINGAPORE shares opened lower on Monday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 3,139.85 in early trade, down 0.75 percent, or 23.83 points.
Around 68.6 million shares exchanged hands.
Losers beat gainers 114 to 22.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) made it through a second straight week of volatility, rebounding above 1,100 points early last week before dropping below 1,100 by the end of the week with thin trading volume before the long holiday.
The SET traded in a range between 1,054.67 and 1,102.44 and closed on Friday at 1,084.96, up 3.25 percent from a week earlier. Foreign investors were net buyers of 2.4 billion baht, retail investors were net sellers of 6.66 billion, local institutions were net buyers of 4.6 billion and brokers net sellers of 352.74 million baht.
Big movers: Good performers rebounded sharply with heavy purchases by both local and foreign investors. A.J. Plast topped the most active stocks of the week after reporting a jump in first-quarter net profit to 444 million baht, up 459%. Its share price rose from 22.80 baht a week earlier to close at 28.25 baht on Friday.
- Bangkok Life Insurance (BLA) reported an impressive net profit of 987.23 million baht, up from 440.74 million a year earlier. BLA closed on Friday at 45 baht, up from 35.75 baht the previous week.
- The coal giant Banpu reported a Q1 net profit of 9.2 billion baht, up 237% year-on-year. The figure was inflated by proceeds from the sale of a mine in China for 8.2 billion baht, though coal volumes and selling prices were also healthy. Banpu shares closed at 736 baht, up from 718 the previous Friday.
Newsmakers: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva finally ended the suspense and dissolved the Thai lower house for a July 3 general election.
- Toyota Motor Thailand sent some encouraging signals to the automobile industry, saying its three assembly plants in Thailand would return to normal production levels on May 23, ahead of schedule, as Japan-based auto parts production has resumed.
- The SET-sponsored Money Expo 2011, which ended on Sunday, was expected to generate transactions of up to 100 billion baht as investors checked out new banking, financial and investment products.
Coming up this week: High volatility in the stock market is likely to continue this week. The direction of the US dollar will be key factor determining movements of fund flows.
- Investors will monitor reaction in China to another increase in bank reserve requirements, now a record 21 percent, as the government tries to curb lending and tame inflation, now running at 5.3 percent. The market expects Beijing to continue to lift interest rates as well.
- The market is closed today and tomorrow, so Wednesday will be the final day for reporting first-quarter operating results. Most companies have reported better results than analysts' expectations. The energy and petrochemical sector reported especially strong earnings growth in line with high oil and related product prices.
- The Federation of Thai Industries this week will release its industrial confidence index and automobile production and export figures.
- The Commerce Ministry will announce April export figures. The dollar value of exports in March rose 30.9 percent and the market hopes the momentum will continue.
Stocks to Watch: KGI Securities said foreign-exchange and commodities markets would remain volatile. It recommends investors avoid energy and petrochemicals while focusing more on medium-cap and consumer stocks.
Stocks continued their slow downward march yesterday on both national exchanges, with the VN-Index losing 0.5 percent to close at 479.67 points and the HNX-Index declining by a similar 0.4 percent to end the session at just 82 points.
The continued poor performance of shares came despite a number of listed companies publishing positive first-quarter earnings reports.
"Earnings reports of listed companies often collect historic data which is more positive than the current situation. They hardly reflect anything," said the director of brokerage for MHB Securities Co, Hoang Thach Lan.
On the HCM City Stock Exchange, the value of trades fell by 31 percent from the previous day to just VND404 billion (US$19 million), on a volume of only 18 million shares.
Of the 10 leading shares by capitalisation, four managed gains, including PetroVietnam Finance (PVF), up 3.7 percent; insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) up 2.9 percent; Phu My Fertilisers (DPM), up 0.6 percent; and real estate developer Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAG), up 0.2 per- cent.
However, overall sluggish trading in blue chips took a toll on the VN-Index, as did the steep declines by real estate developer Vincom (VIC) and food producer Masan Group (MSN), which dropped to its floor price.
Eximbank (EIB) was the most-active share, with 1.1 million traded. Banking shares remained more heavily traded than shares in other sectors since share values remained fairly stable, Lan said. The value and volume of trades on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange yesterday were approximate to Thursday figures, totalling VND253 billion ($12 million) and 19 million shares, respectively.
PetroVietnam Northern Gas (PVG) was the most-active share on the northern bourse, with 2.4 million shares changing hands. The gas provider had announced yesterday as the ex-date for shareholders to participate in its dividend payout.
Foreign investors returned to being net buyers on both bourses yesterday, picking a net of VND41.5 billion ($2 million) worth of shares in HCM City and VND7.3 billion ($348,000) in Hanoi
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