Thai shares at 16-month lows; Indonesia falls on selling in large caps

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai stocks hit 16-month lows on Monday as concerns over the impact of political turmoil on the economy spurred selling in shares of banking and telecoms firms while Indonesian stocks fell to their lowest in nearly two weeks on active selling in large caps.

The Thai SET index fell 0.9 per cent to 1,213.17, slipping at one point to 1,205.44, the lowest since August 2012.

Shares of Kasikornbank, Advanced Info Service and Siam Commercial Bank were among the actively traded stocks.

Broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said it expected the index to move in a range of 1,200-1,240 on the day while KGI Securities said the domestic political turmoil would keep the market rangebound.

"The market still lacks clear direction. While it fell sharply last week discounting the current political turmoil, any concrete rebound is unlikely due to persisting uncertainty on politics," KGI strategists wrote in a report.

Thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the Thai capital on Sunday, a prelude to a broader action next week when they say they will shut down Bangkok in their bid to scuttle a February election and topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Jakarta's Composite Index shed 1 per cent to 4,216.68, having hit 4,204.08, the lowest since Dec. 24, led down by shares of Adaro Energy and Bank Negara Indonesia.

The index is expected to continue its weakening trend and trade in a 4,234-4,282 range, broker Trimegah Securities said.

A rise in Indonesia's government bond yield prompted market sell-offs in large caps on Friday on expectations the yield would rise further in line with the outlook for U.S. government bonds, Trimegah Securities said.

"There could be some follow-up selling from last week," an analyst at Trimegah said.

Stocks in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam traded largely in a tight range amid weaknesses in Asian shares after growth in China's services sector slowed sharply last month.