SE Asia Stocks-Most up ahead of holidays; domestic institutions lift Thai shares
BANGKOK, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly gained on Wednesday as Thai shares eked out gains with institutional investors buying shares on bargains, but market holidays in the region kept most investors on the sidelines. Thai key SET index traded slightly higher with active buying in dividend-yielding stocks such as Intouch Holdings, Advanced Info Service and Bangkok Bank. Domestic institutions led among buyers while foreign interest was relatively subdued, traders in Bangkok said. "The window dressing could continue to support the market towards the end of the year but institutional investors are very selective and we may not see a big increase in the SET index," a trader at BT Securities said. Singapore's key index was up 0.4 percent after five consecutive sessions of gains, the Jakarta composite index rose 0.6 percent, heading for a second straight rise and Vietnam was 0.6 percent higher. Energy shares rebounded amid volatility in crude oil prices, with outperformers including Singapore's Noble Group and Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production. The Kuala Lumpur composite index fell 0.1 percent amid selling in recent gainers such as Public Bank, but shares of Petronas Chemicals Group rose almost 1 percent, in line with energy shares in the region. Singapore and Malaysia will be closed for Christmas on Thursday, with Indonesia closing on Thursday and Friday. The Philippine stock market is closed on Wednesday through Friday for the Christmas holidays, and will reopen on Monday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0454 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3345.91 3332.51 +0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1746.88 1749.05 -0.12 Bangkok 1533.69 1531.17 +0.16 Jakarta 5168.97 5139.07 +0.59 Ho Chi Minh 540.87 537.88 +0.56 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath; Editing by xxxx)
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