SE Asia Stocks-Higher amid bargain hunting; ECB decision in focus
BANGKOK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets posted small gains on Tuesday as bargain hunting emerged in battered large caps, with Singapore's index rebounding from a two-week low on the previous day, led by shares of Singapore Telecommunications. Share markets saw a range-bound session ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision later this week while U.S. stock markets were closed overnight for a labour day holiday. Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,326.77. It fell to 3,314.13 on Monday, the lowest close since Aug. 18. Shares of Sing Tel, the largest stock by market capitalisation, rebounded after two consecutive sessions of falls, trading up 1.29 percent. In Bangkok, the key SET index edged up 0.2 percent by midday as shares of banks such as Bangkok Bank extended gains from the previous session as investors built positions in sectors expected to benefit from a new government. Shares of TMB Bank were an outperformer, rising more than 2 percent to a near eight-year high. "There is still some scope for Thailand to outperform Asian peers due to local optimism about the new interim cabinet and a few economic policies to be announced soon," broker KGI Securities said in a report. "Hope for possible ECB action and the strong 2015 outlook for Thailand should continue to promote foreign equity inflows, which imply market downside appears limited," it said. Stocks in Indonesia and the Philippines extended their gains for a second day. Malaysia's index edged slightly higher. Vietnam was closed on Tuesday, reopening on Wednesday. In Jakarta, shares of XL Axiata surged more than 7 percent after the telecommunications company has finalised a deal to resell a 2.7 percent stake in the company it had bought back from investors, to strengthen its finances. Among weak spots in the region, shares of Singapore's STATS ChipPAC fell 10 percent, a day after a potential bidder for the Singapore company said there was a low likelihood of a deal within the next three months. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on 0805 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 445.31 445.41 -0.04 Singapore 3326.77 3314.13 +0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1866.36 1866.11 +0.01 Bangkok 1569.80 1565.35 +0.28 Jakarta 5198.48 5177.62 +0.40 Manila 7106.56 7083.49 +0.33 * 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 Kaweewit Kaewjinda; Editing by Anand Basu)
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