Thai stocks lead SEA decline, baht slumps

Thai stocks lead SEA decline, baht slumps

Thai stocks plunged 2.5% on Wednesday. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakul)
Thai stocks plunged 2.5% on Wednesday. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakul)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand fell 6.9% on Wednesday to its lowest level in seven months, while most other Southeast Asian markets also ended lower.

The SET main index skidded for a fourth straight session and ended down 2.5%. Basic materials and telecoms led the losses.

The baht fell 1% against the dollar after being down as much as 1.5% earlier. 

The Thai currency traded at 35.719 a dollar, headed for an eighth day of losses in the longest stretch since July 2015. It sank to 35.902, the lowest since Jan 26, and is down 2.4% this week.

The baht was the worst performer among 24 developing-nation peers tracked by Bloomberg

The 10-year sovereign bond yield rose four basis points to 2.34%, the highest since January.

The baht’s slide was “mostly related to the King’s health,” said Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB in Singapore.

Other Southeast Asian markets also ended lower, tracking Asian peers, on subdued risk sentiment as expectations that US Federal Reserve would hike interest rates in December lifted the dollar and pushed up bond yields overnight . 

"The speculation is that a hike in interest rates would lead to some of the flow destruction in the markets and therefore, it adds some pressure on sentiment," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities in Indonesia.

Sentiment also took a hit as a dour start to Wall Street's corporate earnings season knocked US stocks.

The main index in the Philippines closed down 1.2%, falling to its lowest in four months, with financials and energy leading the fall.

Singapore shares fell 1.5% to their lowest in nearly four weeks.

Southeast Asian stock markets





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