SE Asia Stocks - Most up with Asia; Thai shares hit after MERS case
BANGKOK, June 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday as a cautious stance by the Federal Reserve towards U.S. interest rates lifted sentiment in Asia, but Thai airline and hotel shares were hit by selloffs after the country's first MERS virus case and downgrade of its aviation safety. Losses in shares of airport operator Airports of Thailand , Thai Airways International and Central Plaza Hotel sent the SET index 0.6 percent down to a near one-week low of 1,498.37. The benchmark is set for a weekly loss of 0.7 percent, and is among the region's underperformers. Thailand confirmed its first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) late on Thursday, further dampening sentiment in tourism sector already hit by an international aviation agency's safety rating downgrade. Strategists at broker Phillip Securities expect the SET index to fall to a support at 1,495 for the day, while broker Asia Wealth Securities said external factors could lend support. Asian shares rose for a third consecutive day on Friday even as China stocks tumbled into correction territory, while the Fed's cautious stance kept the dollar on the back foot. Indexes in the Philippines and Vietnam are both set for a weekly gain of 1.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Singapore is heading for a weekly loss of 1.5 percent, followed by Malaysia's 0.6 percent. Broker NRA Capital said sentiment in Singapore would remain cautious, with stocks likely to trade within a range. "Though Wall Street gave a positive handover, the threat of a Greek fall out next week remains an overhang on sentiment," it said in a report. The Greek government hopes Monday's last-ditch summit of euro zone leaders to resolve the standoff between Athens and its creditors can help produce a result, an official said on Thursday. Indonesia was an outperformer, with the broader Jakarta composite index up 0.8 percent on the day and on track for a weekly gain of almost 1 percent. Banking shares rose, led by a 3.4 percent jump in Bank Mandiri, a day after the central bank maintained the benchmark interest rate at 7.5 percent as expected. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0652 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3303.97 3300.42 +0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1723.73 1718.12 +0.33 Bangkok 1498.37 1508.04 -0.64 Jakarta 4983.77 4945.50 +0.77 Manila 7605.86 7606.86 -0.01 Ho Chi Minh 584.37 580.35 +0.69 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved.