SE Asia Stocks -Mixed; Thai shares ease after violence in Bangkok
BANGKOK, May 15 (Reuters) - Thai shares eased on Thursday as increased violence in Bangkok spooked investors while shares in Vietnam recovered further from recent losses though spreading anti-China riots limited market gains. Selling in shares of large caps such as Advanced Info Service pulled the key SET index down 0.14 percent near midday but some mid caps, including Bumrungrad Hospital, jumped after they were added to the MSCI Thailand index from May 30. Unidentified gunmen attacked anti-government protesters in the Thai capital early on Thursday, killing two people and injuring at least 21 as Thailand's rival political factions squared off over who should be prime minister. Brokers say they expect market weakness in the near term due to the unclear political situation. "Investors monitor the Thai Senate's meetings with various agencies to bring the country out of the political turmoil, while the chance of elections being held in the third quarter remains slim," strategists at KGI securities said in a report. The escalation of political tensions has boded ill for Thai stocks and other financial assets, including bonds this year. Thai stocks have recorded a net outflow of 6.6 billion baht ($203.48 million) so far this year while the bond market saw selling worth about a net 5 billion baht ($154.15 million) in the year to April, Thomson Reuters data and a Thai Bond Market Associations report showed. Vietnam's benchmark index was up 1 percent. It rose 3 percent on Wednesday after a steep loss since April 25 sent the index to its lowest in more than four months early this week. Singapore's was range-bound, with gains in banking stocks such as DBS Group Holding offsetting losses in some large caps. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd shares fell after the company reported a modest rise in fourth-quarter earnings. Stocks in Malaysia and the Philippines held in the negative territory as Asian shares stepped back from a one-month high after a retreat on Wall Street. Indonesia is shut for a market holiday, and will reopen on Friday. It hit an 11-month high on Wednesday as chances of a win for a popular presidential candidate increased ahead of a July election. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0514 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 422.95 423.87 -0.22 Singapore 3265.04 3259.09 +0.18 Kuala Lumpur 1878.26 1879.20 +0.05 Bangkok 1394.06 1396.03 -0.14 Manila 6861.92 6880.44 -0.27 Ho Chi Minh 534.77 529.53 +0.99 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ($1 = 32.4350 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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