SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data
BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark fell to a near four-month low amid broad-based selling. Thailand's key SET index was 0.06 percent higher at 1,509.05, with large-caps mixed. Among the actively traded, top energy firm PTT edged up 0.3 percent, while Kasikornbank fell 0.5 percent. Data for April showed trade remained weak, with imports down 6.84 percent year over the year, in line with expectations, while exports fell 1.7 percent versus a forecast of 3.2 percent fall in a Reuters poll. Brokers expected range-bound trade for Thai stocks. "In the absence of fresh trading cues and amid steady oil prices, we believe the SET index could be in for a choppy ride in a range of 1,500-1,520," strategists at broker Phillip Securities wrote in a report. The Philippine main index declined 1 percent, with 25 out of 30 stocks measured by the index falling. Megaworld Corp dropped 4.2 percent, the biggest percentage loser. The statistic office said imports in March fell 6.8 percent from a year earlier. Broker Citi said March imports missed expectations, largely because of a collapse in oil imports, while non-oil imports rose year-on-year supporting first-quarter GDP. Asian shares turned higher on Tuesday, on the back of gains in Hong Kong and China, after U.S. stock markets closed for a holiday on Monday, keeping Asia with little news leads. The Indonesian index climbed 1 percent amid domestic led buying in large-cap Bank Central Asia and Bank Mandiri. Malaysia rebounded after three days of losses while Vietnam rose for a sixth straight day. In Singapore, the Straits Times Index was nearly flat despite robust first quarter GDP growth, suggesting the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) would keep policy steady this year. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0531 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3459.47 3460.85 -0.04 Kuala Lumpur 1773.41 1767.38 +0.34 Bangkok 1509.05 1508.16 +0.06 Jakarta 5341.31 5288.36 +1.00 Manila 7685.98 7761.53 -0.97 Ho Chi Minh 564.33 563.00 +0.24 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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