SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares set for best week since March amid political hopes

Fri May 16, 2014 3:35am EDT

BANGKOK, May 16 (Reuters) - Thai shares rose on Friday,
heading for their best week since March, amid hopes for a
solution to the political crisis, while Vietnamese stocks edged
higher as investors awaited news on the conflict between Vietnam
and China. 
    The key SET index had gained 0.6 percent by midday,
taking its gain so far this week to 1.9 percent, the biggest
since the week ended March 7.
    PTT, Advanced Info Service, PTT
Exploration and Production and Siam Commercial Bank
, which have a combined weightage of 30 percent in the
index, led among gainers.
    "We saw big orders in large caps late in the morning session
and some technical-led buying above 1,400. Investors seemed to
be hopeful about the Senate meeting," said senior analyst Pichai
Lertsupongkij of Thanachart Securities.
    Thailand's senate is scheduled to meet later in the day to
discuss on the domestic political situation while a general
election is unlikely to go ahead in July after renewed unrest.
 
    Investors also looked forward to the release of the
first-quarter GDP data on Monday. According to a Reuters poll,
the Thai economy probably shrank by 1.6 percent in January-March
from the previous three months. 
    "We are currently reviewing our 2014 GDP growth forecast,
pending the release of the first-quarter GDP data. A marked
downward revision to our initial 3.1 percent year on year
projection is almost a certainty," DBS Group Research said in a
report.
    "With no end in sight, the fear is that confidence on the
economy, both from within and from the outside, will continue to
fall. There is little to salvage the year for the economy except
to see a proper functioning government in place," it said.
    Stocks in the Philippines fell to their lowest in one
week in part due to profit-taking, while shares in Singapore
 and Malaysia edged down amid early weakness in
Asian shares. 
    Indonesian shares were up 0.4 percent, climbing 2.3
percent on the week, and the rupiah led gains among emerging
Asian currencies on the day on hopes that opposition parties
will win elections.  
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0650 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   423.00        423.04       -0.01
 Singapore          3263.79       3272.49       -0.27
 Kuala Lumpur       1877.97       1879.83       -0.10
 Bangkok            1403.52       1395.21       +0.60
 Jakarta            5011.33       4991.63       +0.39
 Manila             6804.52       6849.33       -0.66
 Ho Chi Minh         527.58        524.05       +0.67
 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.    

 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)