SE Asia Stocks - Thai shares pare gains, Vietnam down
BANGKOK, May 15 (Reuters) - Thai shares fell on Thursday after violence erupted in Bangkok and a meeting to set an election date was disrupted, while the Vietnam index reversed gains due to late selling amid spreading anti-China riots. After a range-bound session, the Thai SET index ended down 0.06 percent at 1,395.21, after earlier hitting 1,396.84, the highest since May 8. The political tension hit tourism stocks, including Thai Airways International. Protesters seeking to oust Thailand's government broke into the grounds of an air force compound on Thursday where the acting prime minister was meeting the Election Commission to fix a date for new polls, forcing him to flee. The disruption came hours after gunmen attacked anti-government protesters that killed three people. Some investors bet a solution to the prolonged political crisis was near which helped limit market losses, said strategist Viwat Techapoonphol of broker Tisco Securities. "Foreign interest remained weak. But in terms of sentiment, there's a bit of hope to see clarity on the political problems," said Viwat Techapoonphol, a strategist at broker Tisco Securities. In Manila, shares fell after two days of gains amid domestic-led selling, though foreign investors piled into stocks for a third session on Thursday, adding a net 305.6 million peso ($7 million), exchange data showed. Nomura said in a report dated May 14 that it preferred Singapore and the Philippines but was cautious on ASEAN markets overall due to elevated valuations, diminished growth prospects and returning risks from external funding pressures. "We see long-term potential in the market... but the near-term prospects are muddled by high valuations and imminent tighter financial conditions," it said of the Philippine stock market. Singapore rose for a second session, up 0.4 percent at a three-week high. Malaysia also closed slightly higher, with foreign investors buying about 140 million ringgit ($43.49 million), stock exchange data showed. Indonesia was shut for a market holiday, and will reopen on Friday. Jakarta has been Asia's best-performing market this year, according to Thomson Reuters data. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 422.87 423.87 -0.24 Singapore 3272.49 3259.09 +0.41 Kuala Lumpur 1879.83 1879.20 +0.03 Bangkok 1395.21 1396.03 -0.06 Manila 6849.33 6880.44 -0.45 Ho Chi Minh 524.05 529.53 -1.03 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 422.87 388.37 +8.88 Singapore 3272.49 3167.43 +3.32 Kuala Lumpur 1879.83 1866.96 +0.69 Bangkok 1395.21 1298.71 +7.43 Jakarta -- 4274.18 +16.79 Manila 6849.33 5889.83 +16.29 Ho Chi Minh 524.05 504.63 +3.85 * 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 = 43.5550 Philippine Pesos) ($1 = 3.2190 Malaysian Ringgits) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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