SE Asia Stocks-Firmer on easing Ukraine tension; Manila leads
March 5 (Reuters) - All Southeast Asian markets rose on Wednesday as relief over the Ukraine tension after Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks helped boost appetite for risky assets, with Philippines and Indonesia leading the gains. The Philippines share index gained 1.3 percent by midday, while the Jakarta Composite Index was up 1.1 percent, at its highest since Feb. 24, led by financials. "We are not seeing the beginning of another cold war and Russia is not getting ready for another war. So that helped boost sentiment in the absence of no other bad news," said Song Seng Wun, a Singapore-based CIMB economist. Putin said Russia reserved the right to use all options to protect compatriots who were living in "terror" in Ukraine, but that force was not needed for now., Strategist Rakpong Chaisuparakul at Bangkok-based KGI Securities said investors are also becoming more optimistic about the US economy ahead of important economic data releases including non-farm payrolls on Friday. Thai shares rose 0.2 percent, led by a 1 percent gain in PTT PCL, after the country's top oil firm on Wednesday said it expects its 2014 revenue to rise 4 percent due to higher oil and gas demand, in line with the country's economic growth. The Thai share index, which touched 1,357.39 on Wednesday, its highest intraday level since Dec. 19, is poised to witness a seventh straight session of gains on hopes of easing of the political unrest that had dented foreign buying. Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at Phillip Securities, said the key driver should be easing of the Ukraine tension. "The resistance level would be around 1360, while foreigners have still been net buyers for a third consecutive day. Short-term investors should be cautious on limited upside and book partial profit around 1370." Foreign investors bought a net $75.17 million worth of Thai shares in the first two sessions of this week, after having offloaded stocks worth a net $3.9 billion since November through Friday due to local political turmoil, according to Thomson Reuters data. The Singapore share index was up 0.2 percent, gaining for a second day, Malaysia was 0.1 percent firmer, and Vietnam's benchmark VN Index gained 0.8 percent from a three-week low touched in the previous session on bargain hunting. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0700 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 399.96 397.84 +0.53 Singapore 3111.96 3104.71 +0.23 Kuala Lumpur 1828.30 1826.46 +0.10 Bangkok 1348.81 1345.82 +0.22 Jakarta 4657.36 4601.28 +1.22 Manila 6462.68 6394.60 +1.06 Ho Chi Minh 574.51 569.97 +0.80 * 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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