SE Asia Stocks-Most up on US manufacturing data; Jakarta at 5-month high

Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:48am EST

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks rose on
Friday, with Indonesia hitting a five-month high, as upbeat U.S.
manufacturing activity numbers helped boost appetite for risky
assets, but concerns about China's economic growth kept
investors from rushing to buy some emerging market shares.
    The Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.7 percent by
midday to its highest level since Sept. 20, led by financial
 and infrastructure shares, with both
sub-sectors touching five-month highs. 
    "We continue to suggest buy on weakness on market as we
remain bullish on long-term outlook,"  Trimegah Securities said
in a note. 
    Investors were upbeat after an industry report on Thursday
showed manufacturing activity in the United States accelerated
in February at its fastest pace in nearly four years due in part
to growth in new orders. 
    However, concerns about China's slowing growth dented
sentiment. 
    Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.6
percent to a one-month high and was headed for the strongest
weekly gain in five months. The city-state's economy grew faster
than expected in the fourth quarter of 2013. 
    "However, there could be a cap on the upside as the
Singapore budget, to be announced this afternoon, may still have
some surprises especially on the personal income tax front,"
Singapore-based NetResearch Asia said in research note. "We do
not expect curbs on property investment to be lifted yet." 
    Genting Singapore Plc shares were down 3.6 percent
by 0542 GMT, after the casino operator reported a 32 percent
slump in fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation. 
    Vietnam's VN Index edged up 0.1 percent as sentiment
was positive after solid bargain-buying by foreign investors in
the previous session.
    Shares in Malaysia and Thailand were steady.
 
    In Bangkok, shares of companies with links to Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra declined. Property developer SC Asset Corp
 lost 1.9 percent, while telecom company M Link Asia Corp
 shares were down 2.6 percent, as anti-government
protesters turned to social media to attack businesses linked to
her family on Thursday. 
    Foreign investors have sold about $984 million worth of
shares on a net basis in 19 straight sessions through Thursday,
Reuters data showed.
    Bucking the trend, Philippines shares fell 0.7 percent,
snapping a five-session gaining streak and down from a near
3-1/2 month closing high in the previous session.  
            
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0555 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   394.40        393.06       +0.34
 Singapore          3104.84       3086.64       +0.59
 Kuala Lumpur       1828.35       1827.81       +0.03
 Bangkok            1303.68       1303.98       -0.02
 Jakarta            4631.25       4598.22       +0.72
 Manila             6308.37       6352.76       -0.70
 Ho Chi Minh         571.74        571.04       +0.12
 * 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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