Most Asean stocks flat ahead of Fed
BANGKOK: Most Southeast Asian stocks traded nearly flat to weaker on Tuesday as investors await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on the prospect of monetary stimulus tapering.
The Philippine index was up 0.4 per cent in relatively strong volume that was 1.5 times a full-day average over the past 30 sessions, helped by selective buying in large cap stocks such as Ayala Land and Manila Electric.
Other regional benchmarks, including Singapore’s Straits Times Index, Malaysia’s key index and Vietnam’s index were nearly unchanged. The Thai index pared most of its earlier gains amid selling in recently-rallying banks.
Citi said was upbeat on the prospect of Thailand’s medium-term economic growth, led by export and investment recovery, and that it banking shares were among its list of overweight-rated stocks in Thailand.
"Thai banks are well-capitalized for any downside surprise...Loan demand among big corporates remains resilient," the brokerage said in a September 16 report.
The Thai stock exchange has recorded foreign inflows since the last week, similar to the foreign inflows to Asean peers, as consensus has scaled back its expectations for the Fed to taper its asset purchases, attracting investors into the battered region.
Indonesia’s index retreated 0.6 per cent at mid-day, after the previous session’s rally, amid selling in recent gainers with shares in PT Astra International Tbk leading the way.
Broker Bahana Securities rated car maker Astra a "reduce", citing the potential impact of fuel price hike on short-term auto sales.-- Reuters