SE Asia Stocks-Largely range-bound; Thai, Vietnam shares fall
BANGKOK, May 6 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were range-bound on Tuesday, with Philippine shares trimming some gains after inflation in April came in slightly higher than expected while Thai shares pared early gains with domestic political issues in focus. The Philippine index was up 0.01 percent, with analysts expecting a second reserve requirement hike at this week's central bank policy meeting amid rising inflationary pressure. Among outperformers, shares of Megaworld Corp jumped 2.2 percent after broker Maybank ATR Kim Eng upgraded the stock to 'buy', partly due to the real-estate company's land bank expansion. Thai SET index was down 0.03 percent at midday thanks to a key ruling on caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Yingluck arrived at the Constitutional Court on Tuesday to defend herself against charges of abuse of power, one of two legal challenges that could see her removed from office this month. "The SET is likely to remain in a sideways pattern until there is more clarity on the major political events," strategists at broker KGI Securities wrote in a report. Market holidays in major Asian stock markets such as Japan kept trading in Southeast Asia subdued. Shares in Indonesia edged cautiously higher. Investors looked forward to Bank Indonesia's policy meeting later this week after recent data showed the country's economy in the first quarter grew at its slowest in more than four years. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index tumbled to its lowest in nearly three months as investors sold to cut losses, an analyst said. Asian share markets shuffled higher on Tuesday after promising U.S. economic news helped Wall Street to a firmer finish. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.2 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0622 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 419.62 419.80 -0.04 Singapore 3246.85 3241.60 +0.16 Kuala Lumpur 1860.45 1860.54 0.00 Bangkok 1421.07 1421.48 -0.03 Jakarta 4845.15 4842.50 +0.05 Manila 6767.39 6766.46 +0.01 Ho Chi Minh 546.70 564.85 -3.21 * 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; Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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