Asian stocks mostly down | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 10, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 10, 2011

Asian stocks mostly down

Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed weaker on Thursday in thin volume as foreign investors sold to reduce exposure to risky assets because of worries about sluggish global growth.
Mounting evidence of weaker growth, on top of China's steady monetary tightening, the festering euro zone debt crisis and still-high oil prices, have turned investors off equities.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which gives an anecdotal report on the economy, pointed to a slowing in U.S. growth in May, reinforcing Fed chief Ben Bernanke's bearish assessment on growth delivered a day earlier.
Indonesia, the region's best performer this year, fell 0.5 percent with a foreign outflow of $81.6 million, although volume was just 80 percent of its 30-day average, Reuters data showed.
The Philippines, which saw net foreign selling of $5.5 million, fell 0.7 percent in volume that was just half its 30-day average and Singapore lost 0.2 percent. Malaysia edged down 0.1 percent with a foreign outflow of $12.2 million.
"There is no catalyst to change the momentum unless the US Fed says there will be a QE3 or China says it will stop monetary tightening or Japan says it is coming out of deflation," said a Singapore-based analyst, asking not to be named.
"The debt crisis in Greece is also unresolved and there is no clear sign of growth becoming normal yet."
Asian stocks outside Japan were down 0.44 percent by 1014 GMT, while the MSCI index for Southeast
Asia was down 0.30 percent.
Regional analysts said investors were also waiting for a European Central Bank policy meeting later in the day at which the ECB is widely seen laying the groundwork for a rate rise in July, responding to higher inflation.
Thailand which fell 1.6 percent to below 1,000 on the index at one stage, recovered to close 0.2 percent firmer, led by big caps, but it suffered a foreign outflow of $144.4 million, Stock Exchange data showed.
Analysts said retail bargain-hunting helped the market recoup early losses.
"The twin threat of Thai political worries and the global economy will keep the Thai stock market under selling pressure for the short term at least," said Finansia Syrus Securities head of research Warut Siwasariyanon. "The major bottom for the SET index should be around 980."
In late trade, Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said there had been strong outflows of foreign funds over the past two weeks due to concern about the global economy and domestic political uncertainty.

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