SE Asia Stocks-Singapore outperforms; Thai stocks up on institutional buying
BANGKOK, March 26 (Reuters) - Thai stocks edged higher on Wednesday on selective buying towards the end of the quarter but appetite remained weak due to domestic political problems, while Singapore recovered from the previous day's fall, with commodity leading the way. The broader SET index was up 0.4 percent by midday, after a modest rise on the previous session. Dividend yielding banks and telecommunications shares were among gainers, including shares of Advanced Info Service and Bangkok Bank, which will pay an interim dividend per share of 5.75 baht and 4.5 baht, respectively. Institutional-led buying ahead of the end of the first quarter could further lend support this week but quick profit-taking could also keep the market gain small, brokers said. Resistance on the week was seen at 1,377, then 1,381, said Koraphat Vorachet, an analyst at broker Nomura Pattanasin. The SET index was at 1,359.30 at midday.. "For the week, we can expect SET to gain support from 'window dressing' activity by institutional investors," he said. Anti-government protesters marched in Bangkok on Tuesday to drum up support for a rally at the weekend, just before Thailand holds elections for the Senate, which will play a central role in their aim of removing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The market focus was also on exports data for February due out later in the day which is expected to rise only 0.4 percent from a year earlier after January's 1.98 percent decline, according to a Reuters poll. Stocks in Singapore rose 1.3 percent, led by shares of Noble Group Other major Southeast Asian share markets were flat to higher following gains on Wall Street overnight. Asian shares raced to two-week highs on Wednesday, with investors confidence getting a much needed boost from upbeat U.S. data and lingering hopes China may take steps to stimulate its sagging economy. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 1 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0555 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 402.85 400.77 +0.52 Singapore 3145.59 3104.17 +1.33 Kuala Lumpur 1836.73 1837.17 -0.02 Bangkok 1359.30 1354.01 +0.39 Jakarta 4722.64 4703.09 +0.42 Manila 6331.32 6336.34 -0.08 Ho Chi Minh 599.97 601.85 -0.31 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Singapore bureau; Editing by Anand Basu)
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