SE Asia Stocks-Higher amid bargain hunting; ECB decision in focus

Tue Sep 2, 2014 4:30am EDT

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BANGKOK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets
posted small gains on Tuesday as bargain hunting emerged in
battered large caps, with Singapore's index rebounding from a
two-week low on the previous day, led by shares of Singapore
Telecommunications.
    Share markets saw a range-bound session ahead of the
European Central Bank's monetary policy decision later this week
while U.S. stock markets were closed overnight for a labour day
holiday.  
    Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent to
3,326.77. It fell to 3,314.13 on Monday, the lowest close since
Aug. 18.
    Shares of Sing Tel, the largest stock by market
capitalisation, rebounded after two consecutive sessions of
falls, trading up 1.29 percent.
    In Bangkok, the key SET index edged up 0.2 percent
by midday as shares of banks such as Bangkok Bank 
extended gains from the previous session as investors built
positions in sectors expected to benefit from a new
government. 
    Shares of TMB Bank were an outperformer, rising
more than 2 percent to a near eight-year high.
    "There is still some scope for Thailand to outperform Asian
peers due to local optimism about the new interim cabinet and a
few economic policies to be announced soon," broker KGI
Securities said in a report.
    "Hope for possible ECB action and the strong 2015 outlook
for Thailand should continue to promote foreign equity inflows,
which imply market downside appears limited," it said.
    Stocks in Indonesia and the Philippines 
extended their gains for a second day. Malaysia's index 
edged slightly higher. Vietnam was closed on Tuesday,
reopening on Wednesday. 
    In Jakarta, shares of XL Axiata surged more than 7
percent after the telecommunications company has finalised a
deal to resell a 2.7 percent stake in the company it had bought
back from investors, to strengthen its finances. 
    Among weak spots in the region, shares of Singapore's STATS
ChipPAC fell 10 percent, a day after a potential
bidder for the Singapore company said there was a low likelihood
of a deal within the next three months. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on 0805 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   445.31        445.41       -0.04
 Singapore          3326.77       3314.13       +0.38
 Kuala Lumpur       1866.36       1866.11       +0.01
 Bangkok            1569.80       1565.35       +0.28
 Jakarta            5198.48       5177.62       +0.40
 Manila             7106.56       7083.49       +0.33
 
* 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 Kaweewit Kaewjinda; Editing by Anand Basu)
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