SE Asia Stocks - Thai shares rebound; Malaysia up ahead of inflation
BANGKOK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were rangebound on Wednesday, with Malaysian shares extending gains ahead of July inflation data while Thai shares recouped some losses from the previous day as bargain-hunting emerged in beaten-down tourism-related stocks. Bangkok's SET index traded up 0.2 percent after an almost 3 percent plunge to a near 1-1/2 year low on Tuesday. Tourism-related shares, which were hit hard a day after a deadly bombing in central Bangkok, rebounded. Shares of hotelier Minor International rose 0.4 percent while Airports of Thailand edged up 0.8 percent. The rebound could be short-lived, brokers said. Maybank Kim Eng Securities said it expected the SET index to fall to 1,355 and 1,350 in the near term versus 1,375.57 now. "As investors are waiting for more detail from the bomb attack investigation, medium- to long-term retail and foreign investors will continue reducing investment weights in tourism-related sectors," its report said. Thai authorities said on Wednesday they were looking for accomplices of the chief suspect for the Bangkok shrine bomb blast that killed 22 people. Kuala Lumpur's composite index edged up 0.2 percent after a small rebound on Tuesday. Inflation in Malaysia likely accelerated to 2.9 percent in July from a year earlier due to rising food and gas prices, a Reuters poll showed. Stocks in Singapore were nearly unchanged while Indonesia and the Philippines both edged lower. Vietnam fell 1.1 percent after the central bank devalued the dong for the third time this year on Wednesday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.5 percent, with sentiment in Asia weiged down by weaknesses in Chinese shares. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0347 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3049.75 3049.65 0.00 Kuala Lumpur 1583.10 1579.60 +0.22 Bangkok 1375.03 1372.61 +0.18 Jakarta 4480.68 4510.48 -0.66 Manila 7318.58 7333.45 -0.20 Ho Chi Minh 574.14 580.22 -1.05 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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