SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Thai shares gain ahead of earnings release
JAKARTA, April 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets traded mixed on Tuesday with the Thai index extending gains to its highest in nearly three weeks, while stocks in the Philippines were down amid uncertainty ahead of a presidential election in May. Thailand's SET index gained 0.6 percent to its highest since March 31, led by shares of Siam Cement PCL which rose 3.4 percent to their highest since October 2015. Siam Cement gained 3.6 percent on Monday when Nomura raised its target price for the stock. The Thai benchmark rose for a fifth session on Tuesday. "Much of the investors' attention may now be shifting to earnings as the first-quarter earnings season is just around the corner," broker Phillip Capital in Bangkok said in a note. "In our view, Thai stocks are no longer cheap after the SET index's FY16 forward P/E has climbed back to 15x, but we believe earnings plays may support the market's downside," it said. Thailand is likely to kick off its first-quarter earnings season this week. Meanwhile, the Philippine stock index fell 0.7 percent, extending losses to a third day, amid political uncertainty. A presidential election in the Philippines could go down to the wire after an offensive gaffe by front-runner Rodrigo Duterte about a rape victim caused outrage and could mean a loss of crucial swing votes with just three weeks to go. Stocks in Singapore rose 0.6 percent, while Malaysian stocks fell 0.5 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change 0502 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct move Singapore 2937.86 2917.75 0.69 Kuala Lumpur 1709.88 1717.68 -0.45 Bangkok 1408.84 1398.77 0.72 Jakarta 4868.74 4865.53 0.07 Manila 7189.75 7243.4 -0.74 Ho Chi Minh 577.04 579.86 -0.49 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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