SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Thai index retreats on banks
BANGKOK, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose slightly on Friday, with the Singapore index hitting a near two-month high, as upbeat data in the United States further lifted hopes of a Fed rate hike delay but the Thai index retreated from a 10-week high on bank selling. Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.4 percent at 3,027.69, climbing at one point to 3,047.10, the highest since Aug. 19. It was on track for a weekly gain of about 1 percent, its second straight rise. Asian shares held near a two-month high on Friday, catching some of Wall Street's shine after upbeat U.S. price and jobless claims data eased some concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy. In Bangkok, the SET index was down 0.3 percent after hitting its highest since Aug. 7. Investors cashed in on recent gains in banking shares, sending Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial bank lower. Banking shares rose early this week as bargain hunting emerged in the battered sector. Concerns remained about the impact of bad loans on their third-quarter earnings due to be released by next week. "Regional inflows should remain solid and back the market. Expectations that the U.S. Fed will delay its rate hike continue to rise," said broker KGI Securities. The SET index is poised for a weekly gain of 0.7 percent, its second, with foreign inflows returning to the region and energy shares recovering in line with global oil prices. The region is set to end the week mixed, with Vietnam climbing 1.3 percent and Malaysia rising 0.6 percent. Indexes of Indonesia and the Philippines were both on track for a weekly loss after gains in the previous week. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0839 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3027.69 3015.14 +0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1715.75 1713.25 +0.15 Bangkok 1420.95 1425.32 -0.31 Jakarta 4520.79 4507.19 +0.30 Manila 7055.74 7045.40 +0.15 Ho Chi Minh 593.02 592.40 +0.10 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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