SET at new low for year
Thai stocks dipped 0.1% on Friday to close at their lowest point this year and complete a fifth straight weekly decline.
- Published: 21/06/2013 at 04:59 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Turnover was heavy as funds continued to flee emerging markets in response to planned cutbacks in US Federal Reserve stimulus spending.
The baht also hit a nine-month low of 31.23 to the US dollar before rallying in the afternoon.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index declined 1.69 points to close at 1,400.50, down 4.4% from the previous Friday's close of 1,465.27.
The index fell as low as 1,354.62 in the morning before steadying as investors chased bargains in blue-chips later in the day. Turnover was 79.03 billion baht, with 10.65 billion shares traded.
Friday's closing was below the previous low of 1,402.19 set the day before, and not far from the end-2012 closing of 1,391.93. Just four weeks ago, on May 21, the index closed at its intra-day high for the year at 1,643.34.
Foreign investors were net sellers on Friday of 3.48 billion baht worth of Thai shares. Local institutions were net buyers of 360 million baht, brokers bought 2.07 billion, and individual investors were net buyers of 1.05 billion baht.
For the month of June so far, foreigners have been net sellers of 44.9 billion baht in Thai stocks, bringing their net sales for the year to 66 billion.
The so-called TIP markets - Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines - have been seen as more volatile than others in recent weeks. However, the SET was calm yesterday compared with Jakarta, which lost 2.48%, while the Manila exchange shed 2.28%.
Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, chairman of Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations, said global factors could be blamed for the Thai market's wobbly ride.
"Liquidity is massive, but it doesn’t have any place to go. Bonds are offering low returns, while stocks are highly volatile, so now all [the money is] heading to the US in the hope of economic recovery." he said.
Most Asian stocks endured moderate losses on Friday while European markets appeared set to stabilise even though investors remained edgy about the possible change of course by the Fed.
Markets have also been unnerved by signs of a worsening slowdown in China's factory output this month and a big jump in the overnight lending rate, sparking worries that tighter lending could pinch growth even further.
In early trade in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4%, Germany's DAX was up 0.2% and France's CAC-40 gained 0.6%. Wall Street looked set to recoup some of the big losses from the day before. Both Dow Jones and S&P futures were up 0.5%.
Japan's Nikkei 225 bucked the losing trend in Asia as the yen weakened against the dollar, helping exporters. The Nikkei rose 1.7% to close at 13,230.13.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.6% to 20,263.31, while South Korea's Kospi shed 1.5% to 1,822.83. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia also fell.
In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 940.65 points, up 3.21 points, with total trade value of 60.69 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 13.01 points to 1,161.51, with turnover of 16.58 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment slipped 5.57 points to 395.51, with transaction value of 1.04 billion baht.
The five most active shares by value were KBANK, down 3.50 to 176.50 baht; Shin Corp (INTUCH), down 50 satang to 78 baht; CPALL, up 1.75 to 36.25 baht; PTT, up 4 baht to 338; and ADVANC, up 3 baht to 260.
Nok Air, which made its market debut on Thursday at 26 baht, gained another 2 baht to close at 28.50 in heavy trade worth 2.6 billion baht.
In the currency markets, baht had its biggest weekly slide since April and briefly touched a nine-month low of 31.23 to the dollar as foreigners cut holdings of Thai assets.
Global funds were net sellers of $179 million in Thai bonds and $288 million in Thai stocks for the week to Thursday.
"The Fed’s stimulus outlook dominates the market and is weighing on regional currencies and assets," said Tohru Nishihama, an economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo. "Data indicating a China slowdown is adding to the negative sentiment."
The baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok around 31.06 per dollar, compared with 31.10/16 on Thursday, and 30.54/60 a week earlier.
The Indonesian rupiah was the only regional currency to gain against the dollar on Friday but was still trading above 10,000 at 10,038, compared with 10,085 on Thursday.
The yield on the 3.625% Thai government bonds due in June 2023 climbed 31 basis points this week to 3.98%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters