BANGKOK, April 16 Southeast Asian stock markets
mostly edged higher on Wednesday after China reported economic
growth a touch above forecast while Malaysian shares reversed
early gains ahead of March inflation data.
Malaysia's main index fell 0.2 percent at midday
amid selling in recent gainers such as Tenaga Nasional
and Telekom Malaysia.
Malaysia's annual inflation rate in March is expected to
hold steady against the previous month, when consumer prices
climbed to a 32-month high, reflecting the higher costs of food,
transportation and electricity.
In Bangkok, the SET index rose 0.5 percent to around
a one-week high as investors selectively bought shares of
banking companies that are due to report their January-March
earnings from this week. The banking subindex was up 0.7
Among the top market boosters, shares of Kasikornbank
gained 1.1 percent, with 25 out of 26 analysts rating
the stock a 'buy' or 'strong buy', Thomson Reuters data showed.
Technically, the index could be capped around 1,400 amid
domestic political concerns, strategists at broker Phillip
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Singapore's Straits Times Index touched its highest
since September, Indonesia eked out small gains, while
the Philippine main index hovered around the highest
since August ahead of a four-day holiday starting Thursday.
Sentiment in Asia was broadly positive as MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged
up 0.2 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0546 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index* 419.41 418.02 +0.33
Singapore 3254.75 3246.32 +0.26
Kuala Lumpur 1849.87 1853.88 -0.22
Bangkok 1397.10 1389.16 +0.57
Jakarta 4883.39 4870.22 +0.27
Manila 6655.09 6621.66 +0.50
Ho Chi Minh 577.33 586.09 -1.49
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)