SE Asia Stocks-Up; Thai shares gain on earnings outlook
BANGKOK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Tuesday tracking gains in broader Asia ahead of the Congressional testimony by the new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with selective buying lifting Thai shares amid continuing domestic political concerns. The Thai benchmark SET index was up 0.5 percent at 1,297.01 at midday. Shares of Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding and PTT Global Chemical were among the top percentage gainers due to decent earnings outlook. Listed firms in Thailand are due to report October-December earnings this month. Sentiment in Bangkok remained weak as there is still no end in sight to the current political deadlock, including farmer protests which added to the protracted risks. Resistance for the main index was capped at 1,300, Maybank Kim Eng Securities said in a report. "A volatile market offers investors a 'swing trade' opportunity. Investors should focus on stocks forecast to post impressive fourth-quarter earnings, but with a limited amount of cash as valuations above 1,300 are considered high," it said. Large-caps gained across exchanges after upbeat earnings, with shares of Singapore Airlines Ltd and Indonesia's Bank Mandiri among the outperformers . Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.6 percent, building on rises over the past three sessions, while Jakarta's Composite Index was up 0.3 percent, recovering from a fall in the previous session. The Philippine index climbed 0.9 percent, hovering around two-week highs, after the statistics office released strong data on December exports.Stocks in Malaysia edged up 0.3 percent to their highest in more than three weeks while Vietnam was 0.9 percent higher. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent. Janet Yellen's first test as the head of the Federal Reserve comes on Tuesday when she faces U.S. lawmakers, some hostile to the central bank, who will want to know how committed she is to winding down the Fed's support for the economy. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0609 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 383.45 381.49 +0.51 Singapore 3034.41 3017.20 +0.57 Kuala Lumpur 1821.11 1816.14 +0.27 Bangkok 1297.01 1290.66 +0.49 Jakarta 4464.58 4450.75 +0.31 Manila 6110.33 6042.25 +0.91 Ho Chi Minh 561.01 555.90 +0.92
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