SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares post best weekly gain since Jan on policy hopes
BANGKOK, June 6 (Reuters) - Thai shares closed above seven-month highs on Friday, ending the week with their best gains since January, due to buying in consumer and construction shares as the government's investment plans revived economic outlook. The SET index was up 0.3 percent at 1,458.02, its highest close since Oct. 24. The benchmark rose 3 percent on the week, Southeast Asia's best performer, in part driven by shares in the commerce sector. Shares of retailers received a boost after the military government's acceleration of rice payments to farmers was seen to indicate better urban spending prospects. Big C Supercenter jumped 9.5 percent on the week to an around seven-month high. The Commerce Ministry said prices of many comsumer goods would be capped for six months to November to hold down living costs, boosting the economy and confidence. Foreign investors bought Thai shares for a fifth straight day on Friday. Their net buying this week was worth 8 billion baht ($245 million) versus net selling of 33 billion baht ($1.01 billion) in nine sessions since the imposition of martial law on May 20. The Thai economy has bottomed in May, economist Pragrom Pathomboorn of Broker KGI Securities said. "Foreign investors bought back shares after panic selling and investment policy limitations due to the martial law. The market upside is justified as economic recovery is on track on the back of fiscal stimulus," he added. Other stock markets in Southeast Asia mostly gained on Friday in line with their local currencies as the European Central Bank's policy easing boosted hopes of increased capital flows to Asia. Stocks in Indonesia ended the day almost unchanged, up nearly 1 percent on the week, as investors awaited Bank Indonesia's interest rate review next week. Philippine shares were nearly flat after higher-than-expected inflation in May triggered expectations of higher interest rates. The Philippine index posted a weekly gain of 1.7 percent, the region's second best. 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* 425.86 423.60 +0.53 Singapore 3299.43 3279.64 +0.60 Kuala Lumpur 1862.70 1869.00 -0.34 Bangkok 1458.02 1453.16 +0.33 Jakarta 4937.18 4935.56 +0.03 Manila 6762.62 6772.44 -0.14 Ho Chi Minh 559.04 551.10 +1.44 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 425.86 388.37 +9.65 Singapore 3299.43 3167.43 +4.17 Kuala Lumpur 1862.70 1866.96 -0.23 Bangkok 1458.02 1298.71 +12.27 Jakarta 4937.18 4274.18 +15.51 Manila 6762.62 5889.83 +14.82 Ho Chi Minh 559.04 504.63 +10.78 * 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 = 32.6700 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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