June 6, 2014 / 11:27 AM / 4 years ago

SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares post best weekly gain since Jan on policy hopes

BANGKOK, June 6 (Reuters) - Thai shares closed above
seven-month highs on Friday, ending the week with their best
gains since January, due to buying in consumer and
construction shares as the government's investment
plans revived economic outlook.
    The SET index was up 0.3 percent at 1,458.02, its
highest close since Oct. 24. The benchmark rose 3 percent on the
week, Southeast Asia's best performer, in part driven by shares 
in the commerce sector.
    Shares of retailers received a boost after the military
government's acceleration of rice payments to farmers was seen
to indicate better urban spending prospects. Big C Supercenter
 jumped 9.5 percent on the week to an around
seven-month high.
    The Commerce Ministry said prices of many comsumer goods
would be capped for six months to November to hold down living
costs, boosting the economy and confidence. 
    Foreign investors bought Thai shares for a fifth straight
day on Friday. Their net buying this week was worth 8 billion
baht ($245 million) versus net selling of 33 billion baht ($1.01
billion) in nine sessions since the imposition of martial law on
May 20.
    The Thai economy has bottomed in May, economist Pragrom
Pathomboorn of Broker KGI Securities said.
    "Foreign investors bought back shares after panic selling
and investment policy limitations due to the martial law. The
market upside is justified as economic recovery is on track on
the back of fiscal stimulus," he added.
    Other stock markets in Southeast Asia mostly gained on
Friday in line with their local currencies as the European
Central Bank's policy easing boosted hopes of increased capital
flows to Asia. 
    Stocks in Indonesia ended the day almost unchanged,
up nearly 1 percent on the week, as investors awaited Bank
Indonesia's interest rate review next week. 
    Philippine shares were nearly flat after
higher-than-expected inflation in May triggered expectations of
higher interest rates. The Philippine index posted a weekly gain
of 1.7 percent, the region's second best. 
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 Change on day
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   425.86        423.60       +0.53
 Singapore          3299.43       3279.64       +0.60
 Kuala Lumpur       1862.70       1869.00       -0.34
 Bangkok            1458.02       1453.16       +0.33
 Jakarta            4937.18       4935.56       +0.03
 Manila             6762.62       6772.44       -0.14
 Ho Chi Minh         559.04        551.10       +1.44
 Change on year
 Market             Current       End 2013    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   425.86        388.37       +9.65
 Singapore          3299.43       3167.43       +4.17
 Kuala Lumpur       1862.70       1866.96       -0.23
 Bangkok            1458.02       1298.71      +12.27
 Jakarta            4937.18       4274.18      +15.51
 Manila             6762.62       5889.83      +14.82
 Ho Chi Minh         559.04        504.63      +10.78
* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.   
($1 = 32.6700 Thai Baht)

 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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