Thailand’s stocks fell, dragging the benchmark index to a two-week low after the central bank forecast lower growth for the nation’s economy.
The 506-member SET Index (SET) slid 0.7 percent to 1,388.41, its lowest close since June 25. Sansiri Pcl, the country’s largest residential property developer by sales, dropped 9.8 percent, its biggest loss since March 2010. True Corp. Pcl (TRUE), the nation’s third-biggest mobile-phone operator, slumped 9.2 percent, while Central Plaza Hotel Pcl tumbled 11 percent.
The Bank of Thailand, which held its key rate unchanged at 2.5 percent today, said economic growth will be less than 5 percent this year, compared with a previous estimate of 5.1 percent. The central bank will announce a new target on July 19, Assistant Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan told reporters. The authority will monitor the global economy and expects inflation pressure to remain benign on lower oil prices, he said.
“The central bank’s statement reaffirms investors’ concern about Thailand’s slowing economic growth,” Sasikorn Charoensuwan, the head of research at Phillip Securities (Thailand) Pcl in Bangkok, said by phone today. “Trading volume in the Thai stock market also fell significantly on concern about China’s growth slowdown and U.S. monetary policy.”
Shares worth 46 billion baht ($1.5 billion) traded today, 16 percent below the daily average in the three months to yesterday, exchange data compiled by Bloomberg show. Minutes for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting are due later today, while data in Beijing showed China’s exports and imports unexpectedly declined in June.
The SET has plunged 15 percent since May 22, part of a rout in emerging-market equities that was fueled by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke saying policy makers may scale back stimulus efforts if U.S. jobs market improves. The slump reversed the SET’s climb this year of as much as 18 percent to a 0.3 percent loss. The gauge surged 36 percent in 2012.
Overseas investors sold a net $198 million of Thai shares in July through yesterday, heading for a fourth straight month of outflows, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Foreigners had net sales of $1.8 billion in June, the most since May 2010, the data show.
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