SE Asia Stocks-Bangkok, Jakarta lead regional gains

Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:03am EDT

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BANGKOK, March 13 (Reuters) - Thai stocks rose to their
highest in over three months on Thursday amid heavy buying in
dividend-yielding stocks after the central bank cut interest
rates while Indonesian shares traded near 6-month highs ahead of
Bank Indonesia's interest rate meeting.
    The Thai SET index was up 0.9 percent at 1,368.32,
earlier touching 1,369.83, the highest since Dec. 11.
    Shares of energy explorer PTT Exploration and Production
, state-run bank Krung Thai Bank and property
developer AP Thailand were among the outperformers in
the top 30 high dividend stocks.
    On Wednesday, the Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark
interest rate by 25 basis points to 2 percent, a
level last seen in late 2010, to lift economic growth hurt by
months of political unrest.  
    The SET index could rise to 1,370, then 1,380 later in the
day, brokers said.
    "The one-day repurchase rate cut to 2 percent will benefit
the stock market in the short term ... more foreign capital will
flow out of the bond market into the stock market after the MPC
cut the rate," they wrote in a report.
    At midday, Indonesia's main index was up 0.7 percent
at 4,719.15, the highest since Sept. 19, with consumer shares
such as Unilever Indonesia among the gainers.
    Indonesia's central bank is expected to hold its benchmark
reference rate unchanged at 7.5 percent at a policy
meeting later on Thursday, as inflation has slowed and the
rupiah has strengthened, a Reuters poll showed. 
    Jakarta's Composite Index has risen 17.4 percent in dollar
terms so far in 2014, among the outperformers in Asia, with 
analysts expecting a string of upgrades in corporate earnings
forecasts providing further boosts. 
    Most other Southeast Asian indexes were flat-to-weaker,
awaiting Chinese data due out later in the day, including urban
investment, industrial output and retail sales.
 
    Stocks in Singapore slipped 0.4 percent to their
lowest in more than one week, while shares in the Philippines
 eased 0.7 percent to a one-week low.
    Malaysian stocks were up 0.08 percent, trimming some
of their earlier gains, after data showed Malaysia's industrial
production in January rose 3.7 percent from a year
earlier, below expectations. 
    Vietnam advanced 0.53 percent, led by food and energy
stocks. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0536 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   403.28        401.02       +0.56
 Singapore          3085.42       3097.43       -0.39
 Kuala Lumpur       1820.10       1818.60       +0.08
 Bangkok            1368.32       1356.42       +0.88
 Jakarta            4719.15       4684.38       +0.74
 Manila             6426.29       6462.47       -0.56
 Ho Chi Minh         593.13        590.02       +0.53
 
* 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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