SE Asia Stocks -Most up on Chinese PMI, Fed minutes; Thai at two-week high

Thu May 22, 2014 3:20am EDT

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May 22 (Reuters) - Thai shares rose to a more than two-week
high on Thursday as martial law imposed on Tuesday kept Bangkok
free of violence amid army attempts for a compromise between the
two rival parties.
    Other Southeast Asian markets mostly trader firmer after a
private survey showed China's factory sector turned in its best
performance in five months in May, and a reassurance by the U.S.
Federal Reserve to keep easy policy for foreseeable future.
  
    Thailand's SET index touched its highest level since
May 6 and was up 0.5 percent at midday, led by banks and energy.
    Thailand's military chief will press political rivals on
Thursday to end a drawn-out power struggle that has polarised
the country and battered its economy, after neither side gave
ground in a first round of army-brokered talks. 
    "We expect the Thai market to move up further on Thursday
backed by US stocks moving up in response to FOMC meeting
minutes which showed no US interest rate hike is imminent," KGI
Securities said in a report. 
    "This development should be positive to Asian funds flow,
though the benefit to Thai stocks will be significantly less in
the near term as martial law curbs foreign inflows." 
    The Bangkok market has suffered a net $351.05 million in
foreign outflows in two sessions through Wednesday after the
army declared martial law on Tuesday, but said it was not a
coup. 
    Other Southeast Asian markets were mostly up with the
Jakarta Composite Index 1.2 percent higher, Philippines
 gaining 0.6 percent, and Singapore 0.1 percent up by 0640
GMT.  
    Malaysia bucked the trend, losing 0.1 percent and
heading for its third straight fall since Monday's record high. 
  
            
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0646 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   423.90        421.71       +0.52
 Singapore          3262.91       3261.78       +0.03
 Kuala Lumpur       1874.96       1877.03       -0.11
 Bangkok            1410.32       1402.92       +0.53
 Jakarta            4968.05       4910.29       +1.18
 Manila             6805.30       6762.38       +0.63
 Ho Chi Minh         544.27        543.88       +0.07
 * 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 Shihar Aneez in Colombo and Viparat Jantraprap in
Bangkok; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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