SE Asia Stocks -Thai index rises; Banpu outperforms large-caps

20-Feb-2015 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 7:16 AM Print This Post

Thai stocks rose for a second day on Thursday February 19 as investors sought for laggard big-cap and dividend-yielding stocks in a reporting season but public holidays in the region would keep most players on the sidelines,
limiting any strong rally.

Thai SET index traded up 0.14 percent at 1,605.31, extending the gain on Wednesday and further rebounding from a more than two-week closing low hit on Tuesday.

Among outperformers, shares of grocery retailer Big C Supercenter ticked up 0.9 percent. Broker Bualuang Securities said Big C’s forward earnings multiple of 23.4 was the cheapest in the retail sector.

Shares of coal miner Banpu jumped 2.7 percent, the best performer on the 50 large cap index.

Banpu reported a 5 percent rise in 2014 net profit as a strong performance from its power business helped offset a weak coal business, setting a dividend payment of 0.7 baht per share for the second half of 2014.

The interim dividend brought full-year 2014 dividend to 1.20 baht, which broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said was better than its estimate of 1 baht per share.

The SET is expected to move in a narrow range of 1,595-1,610 for the day, strategists at Maybank wrote in a report.

“Foreigners and local institutions tend to slow their investments during the Chinese New Year,” they said in a report.

Other Southeast Asian stock markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holidays. Indonesia and the Philippines will resume trading on Friday, while Singapore and Malaysia reopen on Monday.

Vietnam will remain closed through Feb. 23.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was near flat, with major Asian stock markets on holiday including China, Taiwan and South Korea.

AMERICA: A slide in shares of utility companies nudged the U.S. stock market lower Thursday.

Utilities were the day’s biggest losers, falling 1 percent, and their losses resumed a trend that emerged in late January. Investors have dumped the dividend-rich stocks as the yield of the U.S. 10-year note creeps higher.

Energy stocks also weighed on the market Thursday.

Overall, though, U.S. stocks have rebounded from a January slump. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has reached all-time highs in February, and is on track for its best monthly performance in more than three years. Company earnings are still growing and the economy is continuing to recover.

“The U.S. markets are still in a ‘goldilocks’ scenario,” neither too hot, or too cold, said Jeremy Zirin, chief U.S. equity strategist for UBS Wealth Management Research. “Growth is solid, but not spectacular, and most importantly, not stoking high levels of inflation.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended the day down 2.23 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,097.45. The index is still within a fraction of the all-time high of 2,100.34 reached on Tuesday.

The index has gained 5.1 percent in February. If it holds those gains through the end of the month, it would be the strongest performance since October 2011.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 44.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,985.77.

The price of oil fell, though it regained some of its losses when the Energy Department reported that the growth in supplies was less than expected. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 98 cents to close at $51.16 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 32 cents to close at $60.21 in London.

Technology stocks were among the day’s gainers. The sector has outperformed the broader market since the start of the year and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite has gained 6.2 percent this month.

On Thursday, the index rose 18.34 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,924.70. It was the seventh straight gain for the index, its longest streak of gains since last February.

Investors are favoring technology stocks because they offer better growth prospects than the overall market, said Zirin of UBS.

Consumer-oriented tech companies such as Apple should benefit as lower gas prices leave more money in consumers’ pockets, he said. Businesses are also likely to increase investments in technology.

Priceline was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500. The stock jumped $95.06, or 8.5 percent, to $1,218 as an increase in bookings helped the online travel company beat analysts’ expectations.

In Europe, Greece’s government asked to extend its rescue loan agreement by six months in order to give it and the eurozone more time to hash out a longer, permanent deal. However, Greece held back on offering to extend a series of budget cuts and reforms that the eurozone has required since 2010 in exchange for loans. Greece says that the measures have devastated its economy. The 19 finance ministers of the eurozone will meet Friday to discuss the proposals.

The main stock market in Athens rose 1.1 percent. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.2 percent. The CAC-40 in France was 0.6 percent higher.

In U.S. government bond trading, prices fell. The yield on the 10-year government climbed to 2.10 percent from 2.08 percent on Wednesday. The yield started the month at 1.64 percent.

The U.S. dollar was little changed against the Japanese yen, trading at 118.97 yen on Thursday. The dollar edged up against the euro, pushing the currency down to $1.1383 from $1.1399.

In metals trading, gold rose $7.40, or 0.6 percent, to $1,207.10. Silver gained 11.6 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $16.38 and copper rose 0.5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $2.62 a pound.

In other futures trading on the NYMEX:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 4.2 cents to close at $1.616 a gallon.

— Heating oil rose 3.5 cents to close at $1.994 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 0.3 cent to close at $2.834 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Benchmark Currency Rates


1.1364 0.0084 1.5419 1.0533 0.8005 0.7796 0.1289


0.8800 0.0074 1.3569 0.9269 0.7044 0.6860 0.1134


119.0100 135.2400 183.4960 125.3430 95.2640 92.7870 15.3420


0.6485 0.7369 0.0055 0.6831 0.5192 0.5056 0.0836


0.9494 1.0788 0.0080 1.4640 0.7601 0.7402 0.1224


1.2492 1.4194 0.0105 1.9261 1.3158 0.9740 0.1610


1.2827 1.4574 0.0108 1.9778 1.3511 1.0268 0.1653


7.7580 8.8151 0.0652 11.9627 8.1716 6.2104 6.0482 – 


Source: Bloomberg


Category: PRAsia

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