SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares rebound; most others up
BANGKOK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Thai stocks rose on Tuesday due to bargain hunting in battered telecoms shares such as Advanced Info Service, while the rest of Southeast Asia mostly gained on a rally in Wall Street amid talk of more mergers. The Thai key SET index was up 0.7 percent at midday, rebounding from a near two-week low hit on Monday. Advanced Info shares and its biggest shareholder Shin Corp both climbed more than 1 percent, their first gains in six sessions. The telecoms shares had been under selling pressure after data showed subscribers switched to rival mobile networks amid a call by anti-government protesters to boycott businesses linked to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Analysts expect limited market gains in the near term, citing a few bomb blasts and shootings overnight in downtown Bangkok that raised fears about street violence. "We maintain that SET may continue to underperform regional peers, amid political issues," strategists at broker KGI Securities wrote in a report. Singapore's Straits Times Index edged up 0.1 percent, earlier touching a more than one-month high, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan adding 0.5 percent. U.S. stocks rose on Monday and the S&P 500 hit a record intraday high, helped by gains in health insurers' shares and optimism about merger activity. The Philippine index edged up 0.04 percent, led by a 1.6 percent gain in shares of Manila Electric Co on news that the stock will rejoin the Philippines' 30-company benchmark index by March 17, replacing Manila Water. Indonesia slid 0.6 percent, extending Monday's loss and further pulling away from a five-month high hit last week, while Malaysia inched down 0.04 percent, with Malayan Banking Bhd off 0.3 percent ahead of its fourth-quarter results expected later in the week. Vietnam was up 0.9 percent, led by gains in some blue chips. For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0534 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 396.39 395.26 +0.29 Singapore 3108.72 3105.84 +0.09 Kuala Lumpur 1828.02 1828.68 -0.04 Bangkok 1310.55 1301.38 +0.70 Jakarta 4596.62 4623.57 -0.58 Manila 6298.85 6296.32 +0.04 Ho Chi Minh 581.51 576.58 +0.86 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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