SE Asia Stocks-Rise on Asia rally; Thai political tensions remain

Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:07am EST

BANGKOK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock
markets rose on Wednesday as Turkey's huge hike in interest
rates boosted Asian share markets, with Thai stocks eking out
small gains, helped by selective buying in exporters but
political risks ahead of election remained a drag.
    Indonesia outperformed the region, with Jakarta's Composite
Index (JCI) up 1.8 percent amid bargain hunting. Shares
of Charoen Pokphand Indonesia jumped 3.8 percent,
making them one of the top percentage gainer on the large cap
index.
    "We expect domestic related counters to support market rally
today. With positive sentiment from regional market increasing,
we expect JCI would further strengthen," said Jakarta-based
Trimegah Securities in a report.
    Philippine shares climbed 1 percent after a two-day
losing streak, led by shares of SM Prime Holdings,
while Malaysian stocks rose 0.7 percent, with oil and
gas services company MISC leading the pack.
    Thai stocks were up 0.6 percent by midday, with
shares of canned tuna exporter Thai Union Frozen Products
 among outperformers, while shares of developer Land &
Houses led losers amid concerns about political impact
on home sales.
    Brokers see market weakness ahead of Sunday's election while
the region remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's two-day meeting ending later on Wednesday.
    "Any rebound, however, should be short-lived and unstable as
emerging market outflows are more visible," KGI Securities said
in a report.
    "Thai politics is still deadlocked ... The February election
is unable to lead to the opening of a new parliament as there
are too many constituencies with candidates," it said.
    Thailand's embattled government is pushing ahead with a
general election on Sunday despite warnings it could end in
violence and the country left without a functioning
administration for six months. 
    Among weak spots, Singapore shares were down 0.7
percent, with active selling in shares of Singapore
Telecommunicatioins. Research house NRA Capital
expects the market to trade within a narrow range.
    "Investors would be unwilling to take fresh positions ahead
of the shortened trading week and long weekend looming for the
Lunar New Year holidays," it said.
    Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines will be closed on
Friday for a Lunar New Year holiday, with Malaysia shut on
Thursday and Friday.  
    Vietnam is closed for a second day on Wednesday for
the country's Lunar New Year festival. Trade will resume on
Thursday, Feb. 6 
        
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0530 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   379.90        377.35       +0.67
 Singapore          3038.50       3062.41       -0.78
 Kuala Lumpur       1792.98       1781.25       +0.66
 Bangkok            1279.19       1271.79       +0.58
 Jakarta            4421.65       4341.65       +1.84
 Manila             6087.02       6022.81       +1.07
 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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