SE Asia Stocks - Up; energy shares rise with oil prices
BANGKOK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, with indexes in Malaysia and Indonesia hitting their highest in more than a week as bargain hunting lifted shares of battered energy firms amid a rise in oil prices. Oil prices rose in early trade, after a strong rebound on Friday, as consensus spread that Brent crude would likely remain above $60 for the rest of the year. Shares of Malaysia's Sapurakencana Petroleum, Singapore's Keppel Corp, Indonesia's Indo Tambangraya Megah, and Thailand's PTT recouped some of their recent losses. Stocks in Malaysia and Indonesia both rose for a fourth session to their highest since Dec. 12. Singapore's Straits Times Index gained almost 1 percent, its fourth straight gain. The Philippine main index was up 0.3 percent while Vietnam jumped 2.2 percent. Thailand's SET index edged up 0.6 percent after last week's modest loss. Brokers in Bangkok said the market found support on buying interest by domestic institutions. "Local institutional investors should continue to support the market as their investment units see more liquidity injection from LTF buying and the launching of a number of trigger funds last week," KGI Securiites said in a report. Long-term equity funds (LTF) are more popular towards the end of the year due to a favourable tax treatment of the funds. Trigger funds focus on "long only" strategies and are redeemed when the index hits a target level. Institutional investors were net buyers of Thai shares for a combined 20.4 billion baht ($621.38 million) over the past four consecutive sessions while foreign investors were net sellers of a combined 15.4 billion baht worth of shares. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0407 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3306.98 3279.53 +0.84 Kuala Lumpur 1740.51 1715.99 +1.43 Bangkok 1522.98 1514.35 +0.57 Jakarta 5147.91 5144.62 +0.06 Manila 7149.80 7125.63 +0.34 Ho Chi Minh 535.48 523.09 +2.37 ($1 = 32.8300 baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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