SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares up on earnings plays; Malaysia eases ahead of Q4 GDP

Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:25am EST

BANGKOK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets
mostly gained on Wednesday after upbeat trade data from China
and an optimistic economic outlook from the Federal Reserve
chief, with gains in large-caps in the reporting season lifting
Thai shares.
    The Thai SET index was up 0.3 percent near midday,
as favourable fourth-quarter earnings by large corporations such
as top mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service 
lured buyers.
    Advanced Info shares gained as much as 1.4 percent to 213
baht, the highest in almost a week, after it reported a rise in
October-December net profit to 8.8 billion baht ($268.70
million). 
    Brokers said caution over the domestic political situation
remained, including the inconclusive Feb. 2 poll and a plan by
the Election Commission to call for a by-election. 
 
    "If that is correct Thailand will not have a permanent
government for at least another two months, which will be
negative to domestic confidence and the economic outlook,"
strategists at broker KGI Securities wrote in a report.
    Stocks in Malaysia slipped into negative territory shedding
early gains, with the main index down 0.1 percent as
investors awaited fourth-quarter GDP numbers, due later in the
day, for indications on economic growth outlook.
    Malaysia's fourth-quarter gross domestic product 
was forecast to grow 4.8 percent from a year earlier, a Reuters
poll of economists showed. 
    Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines
 and Vietnam edged higher, mainly following the
lead in Asian stock markets, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up about 1
percent.
    In Jakarta, traders and economists also cited optimism about
a newly-appointed trade minister as helping bolster sentiment.
 
    Among the bright spots, shares of Philippine Globe Telecom
 jumped more than 2 percent after a brokerage view.
Daiwa Capital Markets rated the stock a 'buy', partly due to the
prospect of strong revenue for 2014.
    "Globe Telecom's fourth-quarter net profit was lower than we
forecast due mainly to an escalation in costs. Despite this, we
retain our positive view on the stock as the company's revenue
growth momentum remains strong for 2014," it said.
    For Globe Telecoms earnings, click 
    China's exports beat expectations in January, rising 10.6
percent from a year earlier, while imports jumped 10 percent,
leaving the country with a trade surplus of $31.9 billion for
the month, the Customs Administration said. 
    Fed chief Janet Yellen made it clear on Tuesday she would
not make any abrupt changes to U.S. monetary policy, saying the
central bank was on track to keep reducing its stimulus even
though the labor market recovery was far from complete.
 

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0459 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   385.51        384.25       +0.33
 Singapore          3042.68       3029.10       +0.45
 Kuala Lumpur       1822.42       1824.17       -0.10
 Bangkok            1300.24       1296.25       +0.31
 Jakarta            4484.91       4470.19       +0.33
 Manila             6114.06       6106.03       +0.13
 Ho Chi Minh         558.93        553.90       +0.91
 
* 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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