SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Thai funds lift large caps
BANGKOK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday amid strength in Asia and as the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates loomed larger, with Thai shares extending gains as domestic funds were seen selectively collecting large caps. Thai SET index was up 0.8 percent at 1,395.49. It is on track for a weekly gain of about 0.9 percent after falling 2 percent in the previous week. Large caps, which were among top picks in portfolios of investment managers, led gainers. Shares of airport operator Airports of Thailand rose for a second day to their highest since Feb. 3. Domestic institutions had been net buyers of Thai shares in five successive days to Thursday worth a combined 8 billion baht ($224.22 million). Buying interests of tax incentive Long Term Equity Funds (LTFs) and Retirement Mutual Funds (RMFs) are often active towards the end of the year, according to brokers. "Next week, we expect 3-5 billion baht of new capital from LTF and RMF will enter the market ... which will limit the SET downside's in the short term," strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said in a report. Stocks in Malaysia and Indonesia both extended the rebound on Thursday. The Philippines, reopening after public holidays, gained almost 1 percent. Vietnam rose after four days of weaknesses. The region is poised to end the week mixed, with Indonesia advancing more than 1 percent while Vietnam set for about 1 percent decline. Singapore bucked the trend, edging down 0.3 percent on the day, on course for a second week of losses. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0737 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2912.42 2919.83 -0.24 Kuala Lumpur 1662.36 1660.06 +0.14 Bangkok 1395.49 1384.97 +0.76 Jakarta 4550.42 4518.94 +0.69 Manila 6932.81 6825.38 +1.57 Ho Chi Minh 604.91 601.90 +0.50 ($1 = 35.6800 baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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