SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia eases ahead of CPI data, Thai banks Q1 results in focus

Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:21am EDT

BANGKOK, April 16 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets
mostly edged higher on Wednesday after China reported economic
growth a touch above forecast while Malaysian shares reversed
early gains ahead of March inflation data.
    Malaysia's main index fell 0.2 percent at midday
amid selling in recent gainers such as Tenaga Nasional 
and Telekom Malaysia.
    Malaysia's annual inflation rate in March is expected to
hold steady against the previous month, when consumer prices
climbed to a 32-month high, reflecting the higher costs of food,
transportation and electricity. 
    In Bangkok, the SET index rose 0.5 percent to around
a one-week high as investors selectively bought shares of
banking companies that are due to report their January-March
earnings from this week. The banking subindex was up 0.7
percent.
    Among the top market boosters, shares of Kasikornbank
 gained 1.1 percent, with 25 out of 26 analysts rating
the stock a 'buy' or 'strong buy', Thomson Reuters data showed.
    Technically, the index could be capped around 1,400 amid
domestic political concerns, strategists at broker Phillip
Securities said.
    For related stories, click  
    Singapore's Straits Times Index touched its highest
since September, Indonesia eked out small gains, while
the Philippine main index hovered around the highest
since August ahead of a four-day holiday starting Thursday.
    Sentiment in Asia was broadly positive as MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged
up 0.2 percent. 

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0546 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   419.41        418.02       +0.33
 Singapore          3254.75       3246.32       +0.26
 Kuala Lumpur       1849.87       1853.88       -0.22
 Bangkok            1397.10       1389.16       +0.57
 Jakarta            4883.39       4870.22       +0.27
 Manila             6655.09       6621.66       +0.50
 Ho Chi Minh         577.33        586.09       -1.49
 
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)