* Indonesia near highest in almost two years
* Thailand hits week high on demand for agribusiness, banks
By Arada Kultawanich
BANGKOK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were narrowly higher on Friday, with Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand leading the way as investors piled into agricultural firms and exporters due to optimism about the global recovery.
Singapore's Straits Times Index .FTSTI added 0.27 percent, recovering from Thursday's drop to stay around 17-month highs, while Indonesia .JKSE rallied after a two-day fall, rising 1.06 percent and hovering near its highest in 22 months.
Thai stocks .SETI advanced 0.59 percent, having hit a one-week high in early trade, boosted by demand for exporters such as chicken exporter Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF.BK), which rose 2.65 percent.
Malaysian shares ended up 0.12 percent, but Philippine shares .PSI inched 0.02 percent lower and Vietnam .VNI hit a near-one-week low, falling 2.33 percent.
Analysts said earnings prospects in the first quarter underpinned markets in the region, and the rise should continue next week due to expectations that the U.S. economy was likely to show more signs of recovery.
"Investors are still betting on a global recovery and shares that will benefit from reviving consumption and exports should drive higher," said Kosin Sripaiboon, head of research at UOB Kay Hian Securities in Bangkok.
However, some investors were cautious ahead of the release of U.S. non-farm payroll data later in the day. The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan edged up 0.17 percent .MIAPJ0000PUS but was off the 17-month high hit earlier in the week.
In Singapore, gains were led by Golden Agri-Resources (GAGR.SI), which jumped 3.42 percent due to optimism about the palm oil sector, while Wilmar International WLTI.SI, the world's largest listed palm oil firm, rose 2.07 percent after Goldman Sachs added the company to its "Conviction Buy" list. [ID:nSGE60709Y]
Among bright spots in Bangkok, TMB Bank (TMB.BK) rose 2.2 percent to its highest level in 19 months after the bank, 30 percent owned by ING Group ING.AS, told Reuters it wanted to more than double its market share in the next five years and was bullish about profit growth in 2010. [ID:nSGE60701W]
Thailand's top energy firm PTT (PTT.BK) climbed 0.82 percent after the company said it was not in talks with commercial banks on delaying debt repayments related to suspended projects at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate. [ID:nSGE60702L]
Building material firms were among the top gainers in Kuala Lumpur, with shares in Lafarge Malayan Cement LMCE.KL rising nearly 1.0 percent due to rising optimism over the rollout of mega projects and property launches. ($1=33.13 Baht) (Editing by Alan Raybould) FACTORS TO WATCH: Thai PTT says no talks on debt but profits at risk[nSGE60702L] Revived TMB aims to raise Thai market share [nSGE60701W] Thaicom to return to profit in 2010, plans div [nSGE60705P] Quality Houses says 2010 profit to rise, Q1 strong[nSGE6070C6] Thai IRPC sees 2010 sales up 15 pct on oil prices [nWEN8141] Singapore's PSA moves 9.9 pct less containers [nSGE60705Y] For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; [.SI] [.KL] [.BK] SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2922.76 2913.25 +0.33 Kuala Lumpur 1292.98 1291.42 +0.12 Bangkok 738.96 734.63 +0.59 Jakarta 2614.37 2586.90 +1.06 Manila 3077.18 3077.78 -0.02 Ho Chi Minh 520.90 533.34 -2.33 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2922.76 2897.62 +0.87 Kuala Lumpur 1292.98 1272.78 +1.59 Bangkok 738.96 734.54 +0.60 Jakarta 2614.37 2534.36 +3.16 Manila 3077.18 3052.68 +0.80 Ho Chi Minh 520.90 494.77 +5.28 Stock Market Volume (shares) Market Current Volume Average Volume 90 days Singapore 341,893,700 318,933,946 Malaysia 74,587,200 87,290,613 Bangkok 2,678,972 4,162,298 Jakarta 7,372,352,000 4,089,862,206 Ho Chi Minh 84,715 62,602 ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS: Pan-Asia........[STXNEWS/AS] Japan.......[.T] S.Korea...[.KS] S.E. Asia.......[.SO] Hong Kong...[.HK] Taiwan....[.TW] Australia/NZ....[.AX] India.......[.BO] China.....[.SS]
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