SE Asia Stocks-Most up after China's monetary easing; Thai stocks retreat
BANGKOK, March 1 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with Asia on Tuesday as China's monetary easing bolstered risk sentiment but stocks in Thailand erased early gains after a fall in February inflation and on caution over interest rate direction. Thai SET index was slightly lower at midday at 1,331.93, extending its weakness from Monday, when technical-led selling ended the market's six straight days of gains. Investors sold recent gainers such as Advanced Info Service after data showed annual headline consumer prices fell again in February due to lower oil prices, giving the central bank leeway to cut interest rates. Brokers said global easing environment lent support. "We expect the SET index to stay range-bound despite continued profit taking, supported by optimism the ECB would extend QE following negative inflation data," strategists at broker Krungsri Securities said in a report. Stocks in Singapore rose for a third day, adding 0.3 percent to a one-week high. Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam rebounded from a decline on the day before while Indonesia retreated after early gains. Asian shares climbed 1 percent after China's central bank announced a 50 basis point cut in banks' reserve requirement ratio and downbeat manufacturing and service surveys raised hopes of additional measures. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0650 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2675.10 2666.51 +0.32 Kuala Lumpur 1664.13 1654.75 +0.57 Bangkok 1331.93 1332.37 -0.03 Jakarta 4770.47 4770.95 -0.02 Manila 6718.49 6671.04 +0.71 Ho Chi Minh 565.65 559.37 +1.12 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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