Southeast Asia markets flat to weaker; Thai stocks at new low amid political jitters

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks traded flat to weaker on Friday as investors were wary of the prospect of a stimulus cut in the US, with Thai stocks sliding to fresh 11-week lows amid concerns about domestic political uncertainty.

Thai SET index was down 0.6 per cent at 1,368.24, the lowest since Sept 9, after three consecutive days of falls. It was on track to end the week almost 4 per cent lower, underperforming most regional peers.

Strategists at broker KGI Securities expect trading to be slow ahead of the anti-government rally on Nov 24.

The "chance for (a) strong recovery is still low due to political confrontations in Thailand. Risk is higher that the major investment bill worth 2 trillion baht will be blocked at the court," they wrote in a report.

Shares in large-scale builders including CH Karnchang, Italian Thai Development and Sino Thai Engineering and Construction all traded lower.

In typhoon-hit Philippines, the stock market edged down 0.3 per cent, poised for a weekly loss of 3.8 per cent, while Singapore shares inched down 0.2 per cent, set for a weekly loss of 1 per cent.

Stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia pared early losses to trade nearly unchanged.

Among the bright spots, shares of Malayan Banking gained 0.6 per cent, coming off a near 7-month low hit in the previous session, after Southeast Asia's fourth-biggest lender by assets posted its highest quarterly profit since its 1960s opening.