SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares at 3-mo high ahead of rate decision; others recover
March 11 (Reuters) - The Thai index traded at a three-month high on Tuesday ahead of the country's central bank monetary policy decision, while other Southeast Asia markets recovered after most of them eased in the previous session on weak Chinese export data. Thailand's benchmark index was up 0.8 percent at midday, trading at its highest since Dec. 12, on hopes the central bank would cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday to help the economy cope with the damage from months of political unrest. The gain was led by energy shares with a 2.4 percent rise in top oil firm, PTT PCL, which on Tuesday said prolonged political unrest could hit the company's target for revenue growth this year, prompting it to cut costs. Most Southeast Asian markets had ended lower in the previous session due to weak Chinese export data on worries over a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Malaysia's share index, which hit a one-month low in the previous session, was up 0.3 percent by midday. Shares of Malaysian Airlines traded steady a day after hitting a record low as a Boeing 777 operated by the airline went missing over the weekend and authorities have yet to trace the flight. In Singapore, the benchmark Straits Times index was up 0.4 percent with gains in commodity shares helping the index touch a near two-month high. Stocks in Indonesia were up 0.2 percent led by Bank Mega Tbk PT, which jumped 24 percent, while the Philippine index was 0.6 percent firmer. Vietnam's VN Index was up 0.8 percent, extending gains to a fifth straight day, with energy and property stocks providing support. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0640 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 404.63 402.38 +0.56 Singapore 3137.97 3126.63 +0.36 Kuala Lumpur 1827.07 1822.06 +0.27 Bangkok 1359.28 1349.05 +0.76 Jakarta 4689.00 4677.25 +0.25 Manila 6531.63 6487.23 +0.68 Ho Chi Minh 588.13 583.69 +0.76 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.