SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares at 2-week low after first MERS case
BANGKOK, June 19 (Reuters) - The Thai index hit a more than two-week low on Friday after the country's first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was reported, while most other stock markets in the region rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve adopted a cautious stance on interest rates. The benchmark SET index finished the day down 1.1 percent at 1,491.46, the lowest close since June 4. It dropped about 1 percent on the week and was among the underperformers in Southeast Asia. Losses were led by a 7.3 percent drop in shares of hotelier Central Plaza Hotel and a 5.5 percent decline in airport operator Airports of Thailand, a day after it was hit by a safety rating downgrade. Shares of Bumrungrad Hospital shed 6 percent after the hospital said it had received the country's first MERS case. Thailand's central bank cut its 2015 growth forecast and said exports and consumer prices will fall this year, showing the country still faces big obstacles to getting back on a solid growth track. Stock indexes of Singapore and Malaysia posted modest gains on the day, trimming their weekly loss to 1.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The Philippine index, which closed virtually flat, posted a weekly gain of 1.3 percent, the region's best performer. Indonesia and Vietnam notched up gains on the week of 1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Asian shares rose for a third consecutive day on Friday even as China stocks tumbled into correction territory, while the Federal Reserve's cautious stance towards lifting interest rates kept the dollar on the back foot. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3300.96 3300.42 +0.02 Kuala Lumpur 1721.77 1718.12 +0.21 Bangkok 1491.46 1508.04 -1.10 Jakarta 4985.00 4945.49 +0.80 Manila 7601.17 7606.86 -0.07 Ho Chi Minh 584.70 580.35 +0.75 Change on year Market Current End 2014 Pct Move Singapore 3300.96 3365.15 -1.91 Kuala Lumpur 1721.77 1761.25 -2.24 Bangkok 1491.46 1497.67 -0.41 Jakarta 4985.00 5226.95 -4.63 Manila 7601.17 7230.57 +5.13 Ho Chi Minh 584.70 545.63 +7.16 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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