SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Thai index ekes out gains on govt stimulus
BANGKOK, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, with gains in select large caps sending Malaysia's key stock index to a three-week high, while consumer-related shares outperformed on the Thai index after government measures to boost spending. The Kuala Lumpur composite index was up 0.6 percent at 1,673.67, the highest since Dec. 7. Shares of oil and gas firm Sapurakencana Petroleum surged 11 percent, the biggest gainer on the index. Shares of shopping mall operator Central Pattana and hotel firm Central Plaza Hotel were strong in Thailand, sending the key SET index 0.3 percent higher by midday. The government announced tax incentive schemes last week in a bid to boost domestic consumption in the last seven days of this year. The tax break would shore up sentiment and confidence in the near term, said broker Phillip Securities. Buying from domestic institutions is expected to provide a near-term lift to the broader market, countering slowing foreign inflows ahead of New Year holidays. The SET index is expected to move in a narrow range of 1,280-1,290 on the day, broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said. "Foreign investors should slow the investments while local institutions will continue the investments during the window dressing season," strategists of Maybank wrote in a report. Key indexes in Indonesia and Vietnam hovered around their highest levels in more than one week, while Singapore and the Philippines drifted into negative territory as Asian stocks dipped amid a lack of immediate directional cues in light year-end trade. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0547 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2873.59 2877.62 -0.14 Kuala Lumpur 1673.67 1663.51 +0.61 Bangkok 1287.10 1282.93 +0.33 Jakarta 4549.77 4522.65 +0.60 Manila 6963.82 7002.42 -0.55 Ho Chi Minh 570.36 567.67 +0.47 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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