SE Asia Stocks-Retreat; Indonesia rate decision in focus

Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:59am EST

BANGKOK, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks
retreated on Thursday as investors booked profits after recent
gains, with interest rate-sensitive stocks weaker in Indonesia
ahead of a policy rate review while Thailand fell amid political
risks, ahead of a market holiday.
    Jakarta's Composite Index was a tad lower, inching
down 0.15 percent at midday, with banking shares and
property stocks trading weaker after gains early in
the week.
    Indonesia's central bank is expected to keep its benchmark
reference rate on hold at its policy meeting later on Thursday,
as the country's large current account deficit is narrowing on
lower imports, a Reuters poll showed. 
    A recent set of positive economic data, including trade
account surplus in December and better-than-expected fourth
quarter economic growth have lifted market sentiment, taking a
year-to-date gain in Indonesian shares to around 5 percent,
among Asia's outperformers.In Bangkok, the main SET index edged down 0.3
percent at midday, reversing from a near three-week closing high
to above the 1,300 level hit in the previous session. The index
is set to end the week more than 1 percent higher.
    Players trimmed risky holdings ahead of a public holiday on
Friday in the wake of anti-government protests, an inconclusive
Feb. 2 poll and growing protests by farmers. 
    Shares of airport operator Airports of Thailand 
fell 1.1 percent and carrier Thai Airways International
 dropped 2.1 percent amid concerns about the impact of
an emergency decree on the tourism industry and earnings,
brokers said.
    Malaysia eased 0.3 percent after six sessions of
gains while the Philippines was down 0.2 percent,
shedding some of gains from the past five sessions.
    Stocks in Singapore bucked the trend, rising 0.4
percent, as shares in Singapore Telecommunications Ltd 
rose almost 2 percent after its quarterly earnings came in above
forecasts. 
    Vietnam's benchmark VN Index was up 0.61 percent,
backed by positive sentiment following strong gains in the
previous session. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0537 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   386.47        387.23       -0.20
 Singapore          3046.53       3035.45       +0.37
 Kuala Lumpur       1820.02       1825.64       -0.31
 Bangkok            1310.75       1314.06       -0.25   
 Jakarta            4489.51       4496.29       -0.15
 Manila             6101.62       6112.31       -0.17
 Ho Chi Minh         567.68        564.25       +0.61
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