SE Asia Stocks-Most up ahead of holiday; Thai SET near 3-week high
BANGKOK, April 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, led by energy shares, while Thai stock index climbed to the highest in almost three weeks as tourism-related stocks gained after the government lifted martial law. The benchmark SET index was up 0.5 percent at 1,532.94. It earlier hit 1,539.65, the highest since March 16. Investors have shown appetite for selected aviation stocks after the military government said on Wednesday it had lifted martial law imposed before a coup 10 months ago. Shares of Airports of Thailand jumped 1.4 percent to their highest in one week and airline firm Bangkok Airways traded up 1 percent after the slide on Wednesday. Broker Phillip Securities pegged resistance for the main index at 1,540 for the day. It advised investors to take profits near the resistance level. "Even though the lifting of the martial law would be a short-term positive for the market, we believe economic recovery will still largely depend on government's investment spending," it said. A rebound in U.S. oil prices overnight bolstered some buying into regional energy shares but caution remained over the energy price volatility due to nuclear talks with Iran, brokers said. Shares of Thailand's PTT Pcl, Singapore's Keppel Corp and Malaysia's Petronas Gas were among actively traded. Singapore's index traded slightly higher, heading for a modest loss on the week. Indonesia eased 0.2 percent, on track for a weekly gain of 1 percent. Singapore and Indonesia will be closed on Friday for a public holiday. The Philippines was shut on Thursday through Friday for a public holiday. Malaysia was up 0.3 percent, reversing from the fall on Wednesday. Vietnam was up 1.5 percent, rebounding from a three-month low hit on the previous day, with banking shares leading the pack. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0753 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3450.20 3447.02 +0.09 Kuala Lumpur 1831.35 1826.31 +0.28 Bangkok 1532.94 1525.58 +0.48 Jakarta 5453.51 5466.87 -0.23 Ho Chi Minh 546.85 538.91 +1.47 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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