SE Asia Stocks-Most higher; Thai index retreats on telecoms shares
BANGKOK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose along with Asia on Wednesday as investors braced for a likely hike in U.S. interest rates, but the Thai index fell amid selling in telecoms shares on concerns over high bid prices for 4G spectrum licences. The Thai SET index was down 0.11 percent, pushed lower by a 5.6 percent drop in top telecoms firm Advanced Info Service and a 7.1 percent slide in second-ranked Total Access Communication. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) continued bids for two licences of 900MHz frequency for the second day amid a fierce contest that pushed up bidding prices. Banking stocks were up 0.7 percent after the Bank of Thailand kept its policy interest rate steady at 1.5 percent as expected and predicted the domestic economy to perform slightly better this year than the forecast 2.7 percent. Market sentiment appeared favourable due to the better domestic economic outlook, brokers said. Among outperformers in the region, Indonesia and the Philippines climbed almost two percent, with the focus also shifting to the central banks of both countries which are expected to hold monetary policy steady on Thursday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2840.92 2815.52 +0.90 Kuala Lumpur 1634.13 1622.84 +0.70 Bangkok 1299.12 1300.51 -0.11 Jakarta 4483.45 4409.17 +1.68 Manila 6807.72 6701.35 +1.59 Ho Chi Minh 572.55 568.00 +0.80 Change on year Market Current End 2014 Pct Move Singapore 2840.92 3365.15 -15.58 Kuala Lumpur 1634.13 1761.25 -7.22 Bangkok 1299.12 1497.67 -13.26 Jakarta 4483.45 5226.95 -14.22 Manila 6807.72 7230.57 -5.85 Ho Chi Minh 572.55 545.63 +4.93 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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