SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Thailand at 7-mth high on economic reform hopes
HANOI, June 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian shares mostly gained on Monday, with the Thai SET Index rising 1.78 percent to its highest level since Oct. 31 as investors pinned hopes on an upcoming economic reform plan while Philippine shares rallied on bargain hunting. Investors anticipated a spurt in the Thai economy due to economic policies expected to be released on Wednesday by the National Council for Peace and Order, said CIMB Securities analyst Kasem Prunratanamala. Banking stocks are likely to benefit especially from the plan as requirements for investment loans would grow in the coming months, Kasem added. Siam Commercial Bank Pcl led the gains on the Thai Stock Exchange with a 4.4 percent jump, the highest single-day rise since January, Reuters data showed. Sentiment was also helped by a positive Moody's rating on the Thai economy and a weekend protest against the military coup that was not as bad as investors expected, Kasem said. Moody's on Monday affirmed Thailand's Baa1 sovereign rating, saying the country's fundamental credit strengths were solid enough to weather cyclical pressures on the economy and recurring bouts of political instability. Volumes on the Thai bourse were solid, with 10 billion shares changing hands, a level not seen in nearly seven months, Reuters data showed. Analysts expected the SET Index to gain further, with the next resistance level seen between 1,460 and 1,480 points. The Philippine stock market also rallied on Monday as investors looked for bargains in shares that were at one-month lows, hit by weaker-than-expected economic growth data, said Manny Cruz, a market strategist with Asiasec Equities. The Philippine SE Composite Index rose 0.94 percent, reversing falls since Thursday after data showed the country's economy unexpectedly grew at its slowest pace in two years in the first quarter. Telecommunications firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co led the gainers, advancing 2.06 percent, followed by property firm Ayala Land that rose 2.17 percent. Other markets moved range-bound, with Singapore's Straits Times Index edging up 0.19 percent, and the Jakarta SE Composite Index 0.37 percent higher. Malaysia and Vietnam bucked the trend, falling 0.49 percent and 0.93 percent respectively. 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* 421.81 420.71 +0.26 Singapore 3302.24 3295.85 +0.19 Kuala Lumpur 1864.25 1873.38 -0.49 Bangkok 1440.94 1415.73 +1.78 Jakarta 4912.09 4893.91 +0.37 Manila 6710.40 6647.65 +0.94 Ho Chi Minh 556.80 562.02 -0.93 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 421.81 388.37 +8.61 Singapore 3302.24 3167.43 +4.26 Kuala Lumpur 1864.25 1866.96 -0.15 Bangkok 1440.94 1298.71 +10.95 Jakarta 4912.09 4274.18 +14.92 Manila 6710.40 5889.83 +13.93 Ho Chi Minh 556.80 504.63 +10.34 * 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 Mai Nguyen; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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