SE Asia Stocks -Indonesian shares fall; Thai off highs

Thu Jul 3, 2014 3:51am EDT

BANGKOK, July 3 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares eased on
Thursday as investors remained on the defensive ahead of the
July 9 presidential election, while Thai stocks retreated from a
near one-year high as profit-taking hit big lenders including
Bangkok Bank.
    Banking shares in Jakarta also fell. Bank Mandiri 
and Bank Rakyat Indonesia were among the battered
stocks as the broader Jakarta composite index (JCI) edged
down 0.2 percent after three days of gains.
    Foreign investors were net sellers in shares of large cap
banks, Thomson Reuters data showed, while the rupiah 
led losses among emerging Asian currencies due to caution ahead
of next week's election. 
    DBS Group Research rated Indonesia 'neutral' and expected
the JCI to move between 4,200 and 5,200 in the near term. The
index was at 4,894.55 at 0701 GMT.
    "JCI should be supported in a six-month timeframe, as the
new leader, whoever he may be, is expected to spend more on
infrastructure, education, social safety and healthcare,"
regional equity strategist Joanne Goh wrote in a July 2 report.
    The Thai SET index was down 0.12 percent at midday,
with Bangkok Bank shares falling 0.3 percent and Krung
Thai Bank shares 0.5 percent lower. Both gained more
than 3 percent on Wednesday.
    The index earlier hit a near one-year high of 1,495.98 after
data showed the consumer confidence index rose for a second
month in June, pointing to a possible improvement in domestic
demand after the army took power. 
    Among those actively traded, shares of Siam Commercial Bank
 rose to a near 10-month high, underpinned by economic
optimism and positive loan growth outlook. Shares of hotelier
and food retailer Minor International hit an all-time
high.
    Other markets in Southeast Asia edged higher. Asian stocks
lingered near three-year highs as investors waited for the U.S.
nonfarm payrolls report to see if the economy is gaining
momentum. 
    Among bright spots, the Philippine benchmark climbed
to an over six-week high amid selective buying, including
dividend yielding stocks such as shares of Philippine Long
Distance Telephone.
         
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0701 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   429.91        429.65       +0.06
 Singapore          3279.74       3263.91       +0.49
 Kuala Lumpur       1888.64       1886.84       +0.10
 Bangkok            1490.06       1491.81       -0.12
 Jakarta            4894.55       4908.27       -0.28
 Manila             6906.51       6850.60       +0.82
 Ho Chi Minh         582.89        578.80       +0.71
 
* 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 and Kaweewit Kaewjinda;
Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)