SE Asia Stocks -Most rise; sentiment up on hopes US may delay raising rates

Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:17am EDT

June 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
gained on Thursday, in line with the other regional markets on
expectations the U.S. would delay raising interest rates after
weak first-quarter growth in the world's largest economy.
    The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace in the
first quarter than previously estimated, turning in one of its
worst-ever non-recession performances, but growth already
appears to have rebounded strongly. 
    Thailand's SET index hit an eight-month intraday
high of 1477.62 in the early trade. It was up 0.5 percent at
1476.08 by midday, led by energy shares with the country's top
oil firm PTT PCL gaining 2.3 percent.
    The Bangkok market has been waiting for direction from the
policy discussion on Thai energy reforms, scheduled to be
announced by the end of this month.
    Malaysia bucked the trend, but palm oil producer
Boustead Plantations Bhd rose 4 percent on the first
day of trade after it raised 1.05 billion ringgit ($325 million)
in its initial public offering. 
    In Jakarta, banks led the gains with a 1.9 percent rise in
Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and 1 percent rise in Bank
Mandiri. However, analysts expect the Jakarta
Composite Index to move sideways due to political uncertainty
ahead of presidential polls scheduled on July 9.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0647 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   425.50        423.69       +0.43
 Singapore          3274.98       3261.54       +0.41
 Kuala Lumpur       1883.27       1889.55       -0.33
 Bangkok            1476.08       1468.49       +0.52
 Jakarta            4856.12       4838.98       +0.36
 Manila             6872.09       6834.68       +0.55
 Ho Chi Minh         576.54        572.27       +0.75
 * 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; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)