BANGKOK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Thai stocks fell almost 2
percent to a three-week low on Wednesday amid domestic political
tensions while most other markets in Southeast Asia edged higher
amid hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve would maintain its monetary
The Thai benchmark SET index was down 1.7 percent at
1,430.98, the lowest since Oct. 9, with shares such as Airports
of Thailand and Siam Commercial Bank reversing
recent gains amid profit-taking.
Cautious investors cut riskier holdings as lawmakers will
debate a political amnesty bill on Thursday seen aiming to annul
legal cases involving a coup in 2006.
"The Thai political situation will be more intense in the
near term and should weigh on market sentiment," strategists at
broker KGI Securities wrote in a report.
"The lower house has resolved to meet tomorrow to vote on
the amnesty bill, while the opposition Democrats are urging
people to come out on the street the same day to voice their
objection to the bill," they said.
The Philippine index was an outperformer, up 0.73
percent, as market players bought shares in beaten-down large
caps such Ayala Land Inc which jumped 3.6 percent, the
top percentage gainer on the benchmark.
Bargain hunting across exchanges helped index heavyweights
including Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional, and Indonesia's
Bank Mandiri snap recent losses.
Investors are closely watching the U.S. Fed's two-day policy
meeting ending later on Wednesday for clues on its monetary
policy, with analysts expecting its bond buying to be maintained
for the next few months.
Among weak spots, shares of Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses
Makmur Tbk dropped 5.5 percent after the instant
noodle maker posted a significant drop in net profit for the
nine-month period ended Sept. 30.
The broader Jakarta's Composite Index pared earlier
gains, edging down 0.09 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0520 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index* 421.61 423.81 -0.52
Singapore 3217.50 3208.82 +0.27
Kuala Lumpur 1813.58 1815.65 -0.11
Bangkok 1430.98 1455.86 -1.71
Jakarta 4558.57 4562.77 -0.09
Manila 6591.39 6543.46 +0.73
Ho Chi Minh 499.19 497.08 +0.42