The Stock Exchange of Thailand index closes slightly lower on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index closed lower, while other Southeast Asian share markets except Singapore rebounded on Wednesday after two days of hefty losses.

The SET index opened higher but eased 2.99 points, or 0.17%, to close at 1,785.44, in trade worth 73.87 billion baht.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged higher as a late rebound on Wall Street overnight helped soothe frayed nerves, though many kept a wary eye on SP E-Mini futures which slipped about 1%, signalling the likelihood of more volatility ahead.

“The low volatility regime is likely dead — 2017 and early 2018 were a crazy anomaly. So far, the blow-up is scary but has been relatively contained,” said Peter Garny, Head of Equity Strategy at Saxo Bank, in a note.

Philippine shares closed 1.4% higher at 8,667.56 points with financials leading the gains.

“There is a strong resistance at around 8,700 points. That will be barrier for the market in the near-term,” said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities Inc in Manila.

Although inflation sharply picked up in January, the Philippine central bank is seen edging closer to its first rate hike in over three years.

Ayala Land Inc, up 2.7%, was the top gainer while lenders Ayala Corp and BDO Unibank Inc were up between 2% and 3%.

Indonesian shares ended 0.9% higher after the International Monetary Fund said the country’s annual economic growth will gradually rise to about 5.6%.

Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT, up 5.2%, and Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT, up 1.4%, were the top gainers.

An index of the country’s most liquid stocks climbed a%.

Malaysian shares rose 1.3%, as investors brushed aside data which showed December exports rose at a much slower pace for a second straight month.

Singapore shares closed 0.7% lower as financial weighed.

“Investors are reacting to the prospect of high interest rates in light of the fact that rates are reaching levels that investors are uncomfortable with and they are taking money off the table from companies that are more sensitive,” said Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital in Singapore.

Top lenders DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank fell around 1.4% while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation dropped 0.7%.

Vietnamese shares jumped 2.9% after shedding 8.5% in the previous two sessions.

News Reporter

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