SE Asia Stocks-Thai consumer, hotel shares up; Philippine cautious on inflation
BANGKOK, June 5 (Reuters) - Thai shares rose on Thursday as optimism around the domestic economy gave more boost to consumer and hotelier shares while Philippine stocks were range-bound amid expectations of a possible interest rate hike after higher inflation in May. Most Southeast Asian stock markets recouped early losses and closed higher as the European Central Bank is expected to ease monetary policy later on Thursday to support a fragile economic recovery. The SET index closed up 0.26 percent at 1,453.16, falling at one point to 1,444.98. Gains were led by shares of Big C Supercenter and Minor International. Shares of ethanol producer Thai Agro Energy more than doubled on their debut as investors built an exposure into alternative energy business. The stock closed at 5.6 baht versus the initial public offering price of 2.0 baht. The military government's economic policy to revive domestic consumption and investment underpinned market sentiment. The index had risen almost 12 percent so far this year, Asia's fifth best, according to Thomson Reuters data. The Philippine main index ended a tad higher. Philippine inflation quickened in May to a two-and-a-half year high on costlier food and utilities, prompting expectations the central bank could raise interest rates. "While hawkish talk would persist, we now think policymakers would prefer rate adjustments in the fourth quarter," said a Citi broker report. 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* 423.63 422.11 +0.36 Singapore 3279.64 3280.17 -0.02 Kuala Lumpur 1869.00 1865.20 +0.20 Bangkok 1453.16 1449.40 +0.26 Jakarta 4935.56 4932.56 +0.06 Manila 6772.44 6766.57 +0.09 Ho Chi Minh 551.10 553.46 -0.43 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 423.63 388.37 +9.08 Singapore 3279.64 3167.43 +3.54 Kuala Lumpur 1869.00 1866.96 +0.11 Bangkok 1453.16 1298.71 +11.89 Jakarta 4935.56 4274.18 +15.47 Manila 6772.44 5889.83 +14.99 Ho Chi Minh 551.10 504.63 +9.21 * 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 Gopakumar Warrier)
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