SE Asia Stocks -Thai index at 16-month high on growth hopes; others mixed
Sept 25 (Reuters) - Thai stocks rose to their highest in 16 months on Thursday as the country's economic growth prospects and foreign buying boosted sentiment while other Southeast Asian markets traded mixed. Some markets were upbeat over Wednesday's gains on Wall Street on strong U.S. housing data and dovish statements from a top Federal Reserve official, but investors were still cautious and awaited U.S. jobless claims and durable goods numbers due later in the day for cues. By midday, Thailand's SET index was up 0.4 percent at 1,597.94, its highest intraday level since May 30, 2013, led by telecom and bank shares. "Investors are positive after strong forging buying on Wednesday. Economic growth prospects seem to be good. We expect buying to continue with the next resistance level at 1,600," said Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at broker Phillip Securities. Thailand's central bank will release revised economic projections on Friday and the market expects it to keep the country's 2014 GDP growth forecast under 2 percent and announce a higher growth estimate for the next year. Analysts said foreign interest has helped boost the market after offshore investors bought a net $143.52 million worth of Thai shares on Wednesday. Other Southeast Asian markets traded mixed. The Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.4 percent ahead of a crucial parliament vote on a local election law which analysts said could be negative to the market if approved. Malaysian shares were steady while Singapore and the Philippines were down 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index was down 1.2 percent and dropped below the key 600-mark in the morning session, heading for its ninth consecutive day of falls. Investors sold to cut losses amid a continuous fall in shares. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0641 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3290.11 3292.81 -0.08 Kuala Lumpur 1840.56 1840.08 +0.03 Bangkok 1597.94 1591.89 +0.38 Jakarta 5191.33 5174.01 +0.33 Manila 7330.17 7355.29 -0.34 Ho Chi Minh 596.35 603.59 -1.20 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Additional reporting by Kaweewit Kaewjinda in Bangkok; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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