U.S. Markets closed

SE Asia Stocks-Most weak after Fed tapering; Thai poll in focus

BANGKOK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks mostly

fell on Thursday amid renewed risk aversion after the U.S.

Federal Reserve further scaled back its stimulus, with the

Singapore index heading for its worst monthly loss since August,

while Indonesia trimmed some gains.

Shares in emerging markets saw a bout of selling in large

caps amid weakness in broader Asia, with MSCI's broadest index

of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan easing 0.6


Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.7

percent, with United Overseas Bank and Singapore

Telecommunications shares among those actively traded.

The benchmark is poised to end the month more than four

percent lower, among the region's underperformers. Singapore,

Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will be closed for the

Lunar New Year holiday on Friday, reopening on Monday.

Indonesia's main index was down 0.6 percent as

investors booked profits in recent gainers such as Bank Mandiri

and Indocement. It is set to end the month

2.7 percent higher.

Technically, the index was bound for a near-term correction.

"As its MACD formed a dead cross, we expect Jakarta's

Composite Index to move downward today within the range of

4,358-4,459," broker Trimegah Securities said in a report.

Jakarta racked up gains of more than 2 percent over Tuesday

and Wednesday after an upgrade by Morgan Stanley to

"equal-weight" from "underweight", citing improvements in

valuation and trade balance.

"Indonesia's overall rank improves to #22 from #17 in our

model, leading to an upgrade to EW," it said in a report dated

Jan. 28.

In Bangkok, the SET index fell 0.9 percent to the

lowest in more than two weeks, with losers including

Kasikornbank and Advanced Info Service.

Investors stayed on the defensive ahead of the Feb. 2 poll,

brokers said.

"Political risks remain as some violence will likely take

place on election day, Feb. 2, halting new investment,"

strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in a


Thailand's army will increase the number of troops in the

capital ahead of Sunday's election, which anti-government

protesters say they will disrupt as part of their campaign to

overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Philippine shares edged down 0.6 percent, with a

month to date gain of 2.3 percent. Bucking the trend, Malaysian

shares were up 0.8 percent, paring earlier losses.

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Change at 0654 GMT

Market Current Prev Close Pct Move

TR SE Asia Index* 376.44 378.78 -0.62

Singapore 3027.22 3047.93 -0.68

Kuala Lumpur 1804.03 1789.23 +0.83

Bangkok 1260.49 1271.42 -0.87

Jakarta 4388.73 4417.35 -0.64

Manila 6032.26 6069.84 -0.62

* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a

highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,

Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.