SE Asia Stocks-Rise on Asia rally; Thai political tensions remain
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 For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; 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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