SE Asia Stocks-Most fall; Singapore's Olam rises after Temasek offer
BANGKOK, March 14 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were mostly weaker on Friday as investors cut riskier holdings amid fears of heightened tensions in Ukraine, but Singapore's Olam International jumped after a Temasek Holdings-led shareholders group offered to buy all of its shares. Shares of commodity trading firm Olam were up 11.3 percent, the top percentage gainer on Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index, which was down 0.5 percent. The index is set to decline 2.2 percent on the week, its first fall in five weeks and underperforming regional peers. Across exchanges, players appeared content to stay on the sidelines and took profits ahead of the weekend, amid concerns about a slowdown in China after weaker-than-expected industrial output growth and retail sales data. Indonesia's main index was down 0.8 percent at the midday trading break, erasing most of its gain so far on the week. The Philippine index eased 0.9 percent, on track for a weekly loss of 1.6 percent after four weeks of gains. The Thai SET index was down 0.4 percent at midday, trimming its gain on the week to 0.7 percent. The Bank of Thailand's interest rate cut and a possible removal of the emergency decree bolstered Thai market sentiment this week. "The optimism about the Emergency Decree lift appears to set the positive tone to the trading sentiment in the near term while macroeconomy turns in uncertainty," strategists at broker Phillip Securities wrote in a report. Shares of telecoms firm True Corporation eased 0.7 percent. It rose to a seven-week high on Thursday after foreign investors bought the stock via a block trade worth a net 2.4 billion baht ($74.34 million). For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0715 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 400.73 403.71 -0.74 Singapore 3066.92 3081.39 -0.47 Kuala Lumpur 1809.18 1818.86 -0.53 Bangkok 1364.58 1370.50 -0.43 Jakarta 4690.53 4726.17 -0.75 Manila 6377.86 6429.79 -0.81 Ho Chi Minh 596.05 595.22 +0.14 * 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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