SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia eases ahead of CPI data, Thai banks Q1 results in focus
BANGKOK, April 16 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly edged higher on Wednesday after China reported economic growth a touch above forecast while Malaysian shares reversed early gains ahead of March inflation data. Malaysia's main index fell 0.2 percent at midday amid selling in recent gainers such as Tenaga Nasional and Telekom Malaysia. Malaysia's annual inflation rate in March is expected to hold steady against the previous month, when consumer prices climbed to a 32-month high, reflecting the higher costs of food, transportation and electricity. In Bangkok, the SET index rose 0.5 percent to around a one-week high as investors selectively bought shares of banking companies that are due to report their January-March earnings from this week. The banking subindex was up 0.7 percent. Among the top market boosters, shares of Kasikornbank gained 1.1 percent, with 25 out of 26 analysts rating the stock a 'buy' or 'strong buy', Thomson Reuters data showed. Technically, the index could be capped around 1,400 amid domestic political concerns, strategists at broker Phillip Securities said. For related stories, click Singapore's Straits Times Index touched its highest since September, Indonesia eked out small gains, while the Philippine main index hovered around the highest since August ahead of a four-day holiday starting Thursday. Sentiment in Asia was broadly positive as MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0546 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 419.41 418.02 +0.33 Singapore 3254.75 3246.32 +0.26 Kuala Lumpur 1849.87 1853.88 -0.22 Bangkok 1397.10 1389.16 +0.57 Jakarta 4883.39 4870.22 +0.27 Manila 6655.09 6621.66 +0.50 Ho Chi Minh 577.33 586.09 -1.49 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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