SE Asia Stocks-Most flat-to-weaker; Thai shares pare gains

Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:49am EST

BANGKOK, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Thai stocks edged lower on
Friday as investors locked in quick gains in big-caps such as
Advanced Info Service while others in Southeast Asia
were range-bound in line with Asian stock markets and on
downbeat results from Wall Street. 
    Thai benchmark SET index eased 0.3 percent to
1,298.25 near midday, paring earlier gains after a bout of
technical-led selling around the 1,300 level. The market was
broadly wary of the domestic political tensions, brokers said.
    "Volatility is expected to remain high ... Investors should
watch out for possible risk-aversion sell-off ahead of the
weekend. Domestic political pressure would continue to keep a
lid on the upside," said strategists at Phillip Securities.
    Anti-government protesters continued marching in the capital
on Friday, demanding Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her
ministers step down to pave the way for political reform before
an election. 
    The SET index racked up gains of more than 3 percent so far
this week -- among the region's outperformers -- as domestic
funds and foreign investors built positions in large-caps after
their falls. .
    Banking shares rose almost 5 percent this week amid
buying in shares of blue-chip banks in the reporting season.
    Shares in Singapore and Indonesia were
nearly unchanged while the Philippines edged up 0.2
percent, with  MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan up 0.2 percent.
    Shares in Vietnam outperformed, with the main index 
jumping 2 percent to its highest since May 2010. It is poised to
end the week almost up 5 percent amid buying in shares of
blue-chip companies. 
    Malaysia is shut on Friday, reopening on Monday. It fell 0.7
percent on the week, a third week of falls.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0522 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   385.71        385.54       +0.04
 Singapore          3138.92       3140.44       -0.05
 Bangkok            1298.25       1301.48       -0.25
 Jakarta            4411.39       4412.49       -0.02
 Manila             5992.18       5982.24       +0.17
 Ho Chi Minh         544.62        533.54       +2.08