SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares trim losses; court declares Feb 2 poll void
BANGKOK, March 21 (Reuters) - Thai stocks trimmed losses on Friday with tourism-related and consumer shares gaining ground, but political concerns remained even after the country's Constitutional Court nullified a Feb. 2 general election. Even though the nullification may offer more ways out of the current political impasse, protests against the court decision by the pro-government, red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship could temper positive news from the ruling, said a strategist with broker Phillip Securities. The Thai SET index was down 0.1 percent at 1,359.92 by midday after declining to 1,355.76 earlier in the session. The court ruling, which came just before the midday break, briefly lured short-term buyers into the market. Tourism-related and consumer stocks pared losses, with airport operator Airports of Thailand up 0.3 percent and retailer CP All higher 1.2 percent. The Thai index is set to end the week lower by 1 percent, making it one of the Southeast Asia's worst performers. Indonesia's main index was down 0.1 percent. Shares with attractive dividend yields led gainers, including Perusahaan Gas Negara and Matahari Putra Prima . The index is on track for a weekly loss of almost 4 percent after Thursday's selloff as concerns about a sooner-than-expected rise in U.S. interest rates triggered selling across the region. Other Southeast Asian markets staged a mild rebound from the previous session after Wall Street shook off concerns about Federal Reserve policy, with the Singapore benchmark index bouncing off a near two-month low hit on Thursday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0612 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 399.72 399.36 +0.09 Singapore 3087.76 3057.20 +1.00 Kuala Lumpur 1819.75 1818.17 +0.09 Bangkok 1359.02 1361.47 -0.11 Jakarta 4694.32 4698.97 -0.10 Manila 6414.98 6417.35 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 606.17 600.26 +0.98 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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