Thai stocks bounced back in late trade to close more than 0.5% higher on Wednesday, while Malaysian and Philippine shares fell 1% each and snapped three straight sessions of gains.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index rises in the afternoon session to close 0.62% higher on Wednesday. (Photo from set.or.th)
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index gained 11.02 points or 0.62% to end the day at 1,791.23, in trade worth 56.45 billion baht. Energy stocks were the top performers. Oil and gas company PTT Plc was the biggest contributor to the benchmark, rising 0.88%.
Oil recovered some ground after the previous day’s slide, helped by concerns about possible renewed US sanctions on major exporter Iran although price gains were capped by rising US supply.
Sentiment in Malaysia was cautious ahead of the general elections on May 9 and as investors weighed in their strategies at the start of a new month, said Nik Ihsan, a technical analyst with Maybank Kim Eng Securities.
Campaigning for the elections began on Saturday, pitting Prime Minister Najib Razak against his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad in a contest marred by claims of sabotage and a skewed electoral system.
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd was the biggest drag, declining 2.2%, while Malayan Banking dropped 1.1%.
In the Philippines, financials and industrials were the top losers. Blue chips JG Summit Holdings and Ayala Corp fell 5.2% and 3.7%, respectively.
Philippine annual inflation likely moved further away from the central bank’s comfort range of 2-4% in April due to higher oil, electricity and rice prices, a Reuters poll showed.
Among other Southeast Asian stock markets, Vietnam dropped 2%, marking its fourth session of fall in seven.
A sharp plunge in the stock market over the past two weeks is primarily due to investors taking profits after a massive rally and the correction will therefore be short-lived, analysts said last week.
Indonesian shares came off early falls to close 0.3% higher. Financials led the gains, with Bank Central Asia rising 3.6%.
Indonesia’s annual inflation rate in April was nearly the same as in March and remained within the central bank’s target range, the statistics bureau said, but was below expectations in a Reuters poll.
An index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.6%.
Southeast Asian stock markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.