SE Asia Stocks-Most higher; Thai SET breaches 1,300 mark

Fri Feb 7, 2014 2:09am EST

BANGKOK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets
rose on Friday, with the Philippines outperforming and Indonesia
hitting a two-week high, buoyed by higher Asian shares and signs
the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report could put some global growth
concerns to rest.
    A rally in large caps, led by shares of Philippine Long
Distance and Telephone, the country's top firm by
market value, sent the index up 1.7 percent. The measure
of the top 30 listed firms trimmed its losses so far in the week
to 0.3 percent.
    Brokers said the positive outlook on the domestic economy
and inflation was supportive to sentiment.
    "There's no concerns on the local front including forecasts
on GDP and inflation. The market is really watching movements
overseas and in the U.S., and so, it rose strongly today," said
a senior analyst at Eagle Equities in Manila.
    The Philippine central bank kept the overnight borrowing
rate at a record low of 3.5 percent, as expected, on Thursday,
contending inflation was manageable. 
    Indonesia's main index was up 0.9 percent at
4,465.61, the highest since Jan. 24. Singapore rose
almost 1 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan was up 0.9 percent by 0638
GMT. 
    U.S. stocks posted their best day of the year on Thursday
after a drop in applications for unemployment insurance boosted
confidence in the economy and Disney's results overshot
expectations. 
    The Thai SET index was up 0.6 percent at 1,302.69 at
midday, led higher by large cap PTT. Broker Phillip
Securities capped the index's resistance at 1,310, citing
political risks after the inconclusive Feb. 2 polls.
    "Domestic political uncertainty continued to weigh on the
economy in the near term if a new government cannot be formed,"
it said in a report.
    Thailand's inability to form a new government has left the
country facing a slow-burn budget crisis, with a costly
rice-buying scheme close to collapse and public investment plans
that were meant to support the flagging economy under threat.
 
    Vietnam's benchmark VN Index lost 0.6 percent as
investors extended their selling of blue chips after strong
gains in January. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0638 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   382.05        379.14       +0.77
 Singapore          3015.66       2988.27       +0.92
 Kuala Lumpur       1804.26       1797.90       +0.35
 Bangkok            1302.69       1295.24       +0.58
 Jakarta            4465.61       4424.71       +0.92
 Manila             6012.04       5914.59       +1.65
 Ho Chi Minh         551.51        554.68       -0.57
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