SINGAPORE, Apr 18 (Reuters) Southeast Asian indexes -- which have touched record highs in the past few days -- mostly pulled back on Wednesday, with big names such as Singapore Telecommunications
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index <.STI> dipped 0.03 percent, while Malaysia's index, which set record closing highs for the previous two consecutive sessions, fell 0.46 percent.
The Philippines index <.PSI> fell 0.69 percent, after hitting its highest level in more than a month on Tuesday. By 0434 GMT, Thailand's index <.SETI> had slipped 0.27 percent.
Indonesia's index <.JKSE>, which advanced to fresh intraday peaks for three days in a row, bucked the overall trend with a rise of 0.34 percent, and is heading for a new all-time high.
''The blue chips have gone up and it's hard to generate new stories on why investors should buy them now,'' said Chan Tuck Sing, a dealing director at UOB Kay Hian in Singapore, adding that these stocks are now fairly valued.
''Increasingly, investors are moving away from the prime names to the less common ones. That shows the market is running out of ideas,'' he added.
Indexes in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have hit new highs in recent weeks, chalking up the biggest gains among Asian markets in the year-to-date thanks to low interest rates and net foreign inflows into the region.
But some dealers in Singapore said that investor interest in big-caps is waning as many of these stocks now look expensive.
Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's largest telecoms firm, led losses with a fall of 1.7 percent, after hitting its highest level in more than two months on Tuesday.
In Manila, property firm Megaworld Corp.
''We're in a profit-taking mode. We need a catalyst fundamentally, but right now, we don't have that yet,'' said Jose Vistan, analyst with AB Capital Securities.
''We've had two consecutive sessions of 50-point gains, which makes the market susceptible to a correction.'' In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's biggest company by market value, power utility Tenaga Nasional
In Bangkok, banks led losses, on expectations that the lenders would report weaker first-quarter profits next week as high funding costs squeezed net margins and loan growth slowed in a flagging economy. [ID:nBKK168331].
In Jakarta, PT Astra International
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