SE Asia Stocks-Up; Philippines up 1 pct; Malaysia keeps rates steady
BANGKOK, March 6 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Thursday amid easing tensions in Ukraine, with the Malaysian index ending near its highest level in 2014 ahead of Bank Negara's interest rate decision while Thai shares chalked up gains on selective buying in banking shares. Bangkok's SET index inched up 0.04 percent, hovering around its highest in almost three months. Foreign investors bought a net $30.2 million, after net purchases of $170 million in the past four sessions. Jitters over the domestic political crisis remained but there was some interest in select index heavyweights such as banks, which gained almost 1 percent. For related Thai political story, click Credit Suisse saw buying opportunities in Thai stocks despite political mess. It said Thailand offered some interesting stocks, including energy stocks which had earnings streams largely insensitive to domestic economy and politics. "Although 2014 does not look strong for the stock market in general, energy and tourism-related stocks could buck the political trend," it said in a report dated March 4. Malaysia's main index was up 0.5 percent at 1,838.69, the highest close since Jan. 2. Malaysia's central bank held its key interest rate steady at 3.0 percent on Thursday, as expected, reiterating that a rise in inflation was expected to be contained as domestic spending cools. The announcement came after market close on Thursday. Gains in the region were in line with world shares bolstered by diplomatic efforts to cool the crisis in Ukraine. Stocks in Singapore and Indonesia rose for a third session. The Philippines climbed 0.9 percent to a five-month high, with the exchange reporting a net foreign buying of about 1.38 billion peso ($30.84 million), after combined inflows of $242 million over the past eleven sessions. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 404.40 400.59 +0.95 Singapore 3129.17 3116.64 +0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1838.69 1829.11 +0.52 Bangkok 1352.21 1351.64 +0.04 Jakarta 4687.86 4659.17 +0.62 Manila 6516.82 6456.14 +0.94 Ho Chi Minh 578.56 574.94 +0.63 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 404.40 388.37 +4.13 Singapore 3129.17 3167.43 -1.21 Kuala Lumpur 1838.69 1866.96 -1.51 Bangkok 1352.21 1298.71 +4.12 Jakarta 4687.83 4274.18 +9.68 Manila 6516.82 5889.83 +10.65 Ho Chi Minh 578.56 504.63 +14.65 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Stock Market Volume (shares) Market Current Volume Average Volume 30 days Singapore 268,596,000 226,485,003 Kuala Lumpur 140,395,100 136,386,560 Bangkok 7,291,706 5,346,443 Jakarta 4,639,271,000 3,321,859,003 Manila 101,616 84,957 Ho Chi Minh 141,305 130,737
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