SE Asia Stocks - Most higher after ECB easing; Thailand up amid policy hopes
BANGKOK, June 6 (Reuters) - Thai shares rose on Friday and were headed for their best weekly gain since January, as the military government's policies revived economic prospects, but analysts said an overbought market faced near-term profit-taking. Singapore and most others in Southeast Asia snapped recent losses as the European Central Bank's latest stimulus package lifted investor sentiment in Asian stock markets. Equity investors will next focus on the U.S. jobs report due later on Friday for direction, brokers said. Bangkok's SET index rose 0.2 percent by midday, bringing its gain so far on the week to about 3 percent. The SET's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) was at 70.1, indicating it was overbought, while others in the region were relatively lukewarm. Shares of banks, consumer and construction firms led the weekly gains after the government accelerated rice payments to farmers and unveiled construction projects. "Much of the optimism appears to have already been discounted into the market. The market is awaiting fresh trading cues from further developments in economic roadmap from the National Council for Peace and Order," strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in a report. Foreign investors were net buyers of Thai shares this week till Thursday for 7.74 billion baht ($236.9 million) after nine sessions of selling worth 33 billion baht since the imposition of martial law on May 20. In Jakarta, gains were led by consumer-related stocks such as Astra International. Banks were weaker, led by Bank Rakyat Indonesia, ahead of Bank Indonesia's interest rate review next week. "We expect BI to maintain its benchmark rate but note that banks' deposit rates are climbing up, which is negative for domestic cyclicals in general and banking in particular," said Trimegah Securities. Philippine stocks were nearly flat, with index heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone among the losers. A higher-than-expected inflation in May kept investors cautions over the prospect of interest rates. Indonesia and the Philippines both are on track for a gain of more than 1 percent on the week, and are among the outperformers. Vietnam was, however, poised for a second week of fall. 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* 425.62 423.60 +0.49 Singapore 3297.94 3279.64 +0.56 Kuala Lumpur 1866.16 1869.00 -0.15 Bangkok 1456.55 1453.16 +0.23 Jakarta 4952.51 4935.56 +0.34 Manila 6772.16 6772.44 0.00 Ho Chi Minh 554.02 551.10 +0.53 * 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 = 32.67 baht) ($1 = 32.6700 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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