Thai shares weak; Q3 GDP growth below forecasts

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BANGKOK (Nov 17): Southeast Asian stock markets were range-bound on Monday as investors kept to the sidelines after most major firms posted quarterly results and the Thai index fell after weaker-than-expected third-quarter GDP data and a cut in the forecast for the year.

The Thai economy grew a much less-than-expected 1.1 percent in July-September from the previous three months and the country's planning agency trimmed its economic growth forecast for this year to 1.0 percent, citing weak exports.
The key SET index fell 0.1 percent, extending its moderate loss from the previous session, led lower by large caps stocks including Siam Commercial Bank and Advanced Info Service.
The markets were cautious due to the uncertain prospect of an economic turnaround in the near term, including a recovery in consumption, investment, the government's fiscal spending and exports.
"Unfortunately though, stagnant (in fact, slightly negative) export earnings mean capacity utilization remains weak. As far new investments are concerned, there is no real hurry for the business owners," DBS Group Research said in a report.
Singapore eased 0.6 percent, reversing two days of gains to a near two-month high on Friday. Malaysia extended losses over the past four sessions, Indonesia  posted small gains and the Philippines inched higher.
In Singapore, selling hit bank shares recently boosted by strong earnings, with shares of DBS Group Holdings dropping 2 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp  losing 0.4 percent after rising to a near one-year high on Friday.
 Change at 0500 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3296.45       3315.67       -0.58
 Kuala Lumpur       1811.22       1813.79       -0.14
 Bangkok            1574.77       1575.88       -0.07
 Jakarta            5060.00       5049.49       +0.21
 Manila             7232.18       7217.34       +0.21
 Ho Chi Minh         604.48        600.36       +0.69