SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares eke out slim gain in May; most others up
BANGKOK, May 30 (Reuters) - Thai shares climbed to their highest level in nearly a month on Friday, marking their fourth straight month of gains, as economic hopes brought buyers to benefitting sectors such as banks and retailers though foreign fund flows remained weak. The benchmark SET index ended up 0.5 percent at 1,415.73, the highest close since May 2, eking out a slim 0.1 percent gain for the month. The market rally this week, which was led by domestic buyers, helped shares erase losses made early in the month. Foreign investors were net sellers worth a net 2.2 billion baht ($67.12 million), taking their net selling in seven days since the imposition of martial law on May 20 to 33 billion baht ($1.01 billion), Thomson Reuters data showed. Domestic institutions and retail investors bought shares this month as the military government moved to restart public spending and make delayed subsidy payments to rice farmers. Data from the Bank of Thailand showed a current account deficit of $0.64 billion in April and exports falling from a year earlier. Consumption edged up in April but investment dipped from the previous month. Southeast Asian stock markets had a mixed month in May. Indonesia fell 1.8 percent ahead of trade data on Monday. Foreign selling hit stocks such as Astra International and Bank Mandiri, Thomson Reuters data showed. The Jakarta index rose for a sixth month, adding 1.1 percent in May. Singapore and Malaysia extended gains for a fourth month, up 1 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. The Philippines recorded a 0.9 percent loss, its first in five months, and Vietnam dropped 2.8 percent, a second month of loss. 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* 421.05 422.70 -0.39 Singapore 3295.85 3300.71 -0.15 Kuala Lumpur 1873.38 1876.62 -0.17 Bangkok 1415.73 1408.51 +0.51 Jakarta 4893.91 4985.58 -1.84 Manila 6647.65 6676.67 -0.43 Ho Chi Minh 562.02 558.45 +0.64 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 421.05 388.37 +8.41 Singapore 3295.85 3167.43 +4.05 Kuala Lumpur 1873.38 1866.96 +0.34 Bangkok 1415.73 1298.71 +9.01 Jakarta 4893.91 4274.18 +14.50 Manila 6647.65 5889.83 +12.87 Ho Chi Minh 562.02 504.63 +11.37 * 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 = 32.7750 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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