SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares down after military coup
May 23 (Reuters) - Thai shares fell more than 2 percent in early trade on Friday, a day after the army chief seized control of the government in a coup, while local investors bought risky assets as no violence was seen since martial law was imposed on Tuesday. Thailand's SET index fell as much as 2.12 percent to 1,375.41 points, but recouped some losses and was trading 1.48 percent lower at 1,384.46 points by midday. Top oil firm PTT and Kasikornbank fell 1.6 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, dragging down the overall index. Foreign investors will continue to sell because of the coup, though local investors may be on the buying side due to the lack of violence, said Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at broker Phillip Securities. "The market will keep a close eye on how and how fast the military is going to form the new government. If there is no violence, that is good for the market. They sent the protesters home peacefully. So far, so good." KGI Securities in an investor note said the index could see short-term negative sentiment due to the coup. "We view the coup as mid-term positive to the market as it results in more political clarity and hopefully a more efficient way to set up a new interim government to reform politics and roll out economic stimulus." Thailand's army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, seized control of the government in a coup late Thursday, two days after declaring martial law, saying the military had to restore order and push through reforms after six months of turmoil. Bangkok has seen $409.6 million of foreign outflows in the three sessions since Tuesday. Other markets traded range-bound with the Philippines trading down 0.7 percent while the Malaysian stock index fell 0.1 percent, heading for a fourth day of falls since it hit a record high on Monday. The Jakarta Composite Index, the worst performer of the week so far, traded 0.1 percent firmer, Singapore was up 0.3 percent while Vietnam fell 0.1 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0647 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 421.14 423.08 -0.46 Singapore 3274.32 3265.66 +0.27 Kuala Lumpur 1872.87 1875.12 -0.12 Bangkok 1384.46 1405.21 -1.48 Jakarta 4974.32 4969.88 +0.09 Manila 6781.98 6830.58 -0.71 Ho Chi Minh 541.17 541.73 -0.10 * 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 Shihar Aneez in Colombo and Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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