SE Asia Stocks -Most up; Thai index near key 1,500 after consumer confidence data
BANGKOK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday amid selective buying in shares of airlines, seen as beneficiaries of lower oil prices, while positive consumer confidence data for December bolstered broader sentiment on the Thai bourse. Low inflation, reduced gasoline prices and government payments to rice farmers sent Thai consumer confidence to an 18-month high in December, with government spending and investment set to lift it further, a university survey showed. The Thai stock index rose 1 percent, recovering some of its 12.9 percent loss over the past four sessions. Banking and consumer stocks such as Kasikornbank and CP All advanced and were among those actively traded. Strategists at broker Kasikorn Securities expect the SET to gain support from positive consumer confidence data and strength in other stock markets in the region. "Market will continue to see a play around a low oil price theme and bargain hunting in related beneficiaries," they wrote in a report to clients. Shares of national carrier Thai Airways International climbed 2.1 percent, heading for their biggest single day rise since Dec. 16, as Brent crude oil prices fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2009 on Wednesday. Shares of Singapore Airlines jumped 2.2 percent, the second-best performing stock on the benchmark Straits Times Index which rose 0.7 percent. In Manila, the index gained 0.4 percent. Stock exchange data showed foreign buying lifted property shares such as Megaworld Corp, outweighing declines in energy shares including First Philippine Holdings Corp. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index rose 0.4 percent as some blue chips gained, led by dairy product maker Vinamilk. Bucking the trend, Malaysia's index was down 0.4 percent, heading for a sixth straight fall, led down by banking stocks such as Maybank and Public Bank. Malaysian shares trimmed some of their earlier losses after data showed the country's exports in November rose unexpectedly, dodging the impact from tumbling world oil prices and providing a brief respite for the sliding ringgit. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0854 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3305.75 3281.95 +0.73 Kuala Lumpur 1709.18 1716.58 -0.43 Bangkok 1492.73 1477.58 +1.03 Jakarta 5203.82 5169.06 +0.67 Manila 7309.70 7277.74 +0.44 Ho Chi Minh 552.05 549.66 +0.43 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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