Asean stocks: Malaysia extends gain
BANGKOK: Southeast Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday, with Malaysia eking out more gains to a record high amid hopes about the country’s fiscal deficit, while the Thai index retreated as telecommunications stocks fell on concerns over quarterly results.
Kaula Lumpur’s composite index was up 0.3 per cent at 1,819.81, building on Wednesday’s rise that pushed the main index to a record close of 1,814.11. Shares in Tenaga Nasional was the most actively traded, climbing 1.6 per cent.
Malaysian assets were relatively strong, including a rise in the ringgit as some investors hoped the government may deliver measures to improve the fiscal deficit.
The Thai index eased 0.2 per cent at mid-day, led down by shares in mobile phone operators including Advanced Info Service as analysts forecast weak July-September results due to traditionally low season for mobile use in Thailand during the period.
Stocks in Singapore and Vietnam trimmed earlier gains to trade nearly flat while Philippine shares slid 0.7 per cent as concerns over China weighed on broader Asia.
Indonesian stocks were up 0.5 per cent, after a 0.8 per cent gain in the previous session.
Foreign investors bought back shares in the region on Wednesday after recent withdrawals, with Indonesia booking US$86 million of net foreign inflows after five sessions of outflows, while the Philippines noted US$4 million in inflows after three days of outflows.
Navis Capital Partners, an investment firm based in Malaysia mainly investing in Southeast Asian markets, said returns for Southeast Asian equities continued to be driven by what was going on in the United States.
"Outlook is positive for Southeast Asian equities as continuing debt problems and nomination of supposedly dovish Ms. Yellen may lead to looser monetary policies and weaker US dollar for longer than might otherwise have been the case," it said.-- Reuters