SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; weak US data, earnings weigh on region
BANGKOK, May 14 (Reuters) - Thai shares retreated on Thursday as weak quarterly earnings weighed on PTT and other large caps, while trading was mixed in other Southeast Asian markets after the United States reported lacklustre retail sales numbers for April. U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items, the latest sign the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after barely growing in the first quarter. Bangkok's SET index was down 0.5 percent, giving up gains from the previous day. Shares of energy firm PTT, the biggest firm by market value, eased 0.6 percent after net profit fell 21 percent in the first quarter. Although the results beat expectations, volatile global oil prices made market players wary of the company's outlook, brokers said. Hotelier Minor International dropped 5.6 percent as its core profit in the March quarter came lower than forecasts, analysts said. Singapore's key Straits Times Index eased 0.2 percent, reversing from Wednesday's rebound. "We expect the local bourse to trade within a narrow range today as there's little to spur movement either way," said Singapore-based NRA Capital in a report. Indexes in Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all posted modest gains. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was virtually flat while U.S. stocks overnight ended little changed. Large caps in Southeast Asia fell after reporting earnings. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd was down 0.2 percent after a small rise in quarterly net profit. Bloomberry Resorts Corp dropped 12.6 percent after a quarterly net loss. Indonesia was closed on Thursday for a public holiday, and will reopen on Friday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0647 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3447.44 3453.17 -0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1806.68 1803.02 +0.20 Bangkok 1489.25 1495.95 -0.45 Manila 7831.08 7808.35 +0.29 Ho Chi Minh 543.95 542.82 +0.21 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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