SE Asia Stocks - Mostly weak ahead of ECB; Thai shares rebound
BANGKOK, June 5 (Reuters) - Thai shares eked out slim gains on Thursday as optimism around the military government's policy boosted shares linked with domestic spending while stocks in the Philippines edged lower after higher-than-expected inflation in May. Southeast Asian stock markets were broadly weak, in line with others in Asia, ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Bangkok's SET index was up 0.01 percent at midday. It fell to a three-day low earlier due to profit-taking in shares such as energy explorer PTT Exploration and Production . Shares of hotelier Minor International rose after curfew was lifted in some tourist towns. Shares of builder Italian Thai Development hit a six-month high as the army planned to push through infrastructure projects. The index is expected to move narrowly around 1,445-1,455 points, strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said. The SET was at 1,449.4 at midday. The rally this week brought the SET's year-to-date gain to 11.6 percent, making it Asia's fifth-best performer, according to Thomson Reuters data. "Investors should closely watch the economic plans from the National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO)," they wrote in a report. Thailand's finance ministry plans to propose a revised state budget for the next fiscal year starting Oct. 1 and a deficit of 250 billion baht ($7.6 billion), similar to the current year's. The Philippine index eased 0.3 percent after an early range-bound session. Data showed Philippine inflation quickened in May on costlier food and utilities, but the central bank is still seen keeping rates steady for now to support the economy. Bucking the trend, shares of Bloomberry Resorts Corp gained as the leisure and gaming firm was in talks with a potential Japanese partner for what could be the company's maiden overseas venture. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0607 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 422.33 422.11 +0.05 Singapore 3276.12 3280.17 -0.12 Kuala Lumpur 1867.36 1865.20 +0.12 Bangkok 1449.48 1449.40 +0.01 Jakarta 4915.19 4932.56 -0.35 Manila 6748.00 6766.57 -0.27 Ho Chi Minh 552.84 553.46 -0.11 * 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 Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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