STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Index breaks 1,500 barrier; commodity shares lead
Thailand's main SET index surged above 1,500 points amid selective buying in laggard sectors and dividend-yielding stocks, including energy shares such as PTT Pcl, with the upward momentum of the broad market underpinned by fund inflows.
The SET index was up 0.53 percent at 1,507.20, after climbing at one point to 1,511.95, the highest in more than 18 years. Shares in PTT, the most actively traded, gained as much as 2.3 percent to 362 baht, an 11-month high.
Thailand's main stock market has risen 8.3 percent so far this year, Southeast Asia's third-best performer after Vietnam's 17.4 percent gain and the Philippines' 10.9 percent rise.
"Fund inflows will continue in the short term, which is an uncontrollable factor or market risk. If the SET can break through and remain above 1,500 points today, we would selective buy laggard sectors and stocks...," Krungsri Securities said in a report.
Maybank Kim Eng Securities expected energy and petrochemical shares to outperform the market in the first quarter, driven by a recovering world economy. It said PTT valuation was relatively cheap, with good dividend returns.
1132 (0432 GMT)
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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