SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares rise amid portfolio buying; Singapore more than 2-month high
BANGKOK, March 26 (Reuters) - Thai shares rose for a second day, led by large-cap and dividend-yielding stocks, while shares in Singapore hit their highest in more than two months as upbeat U.S. data and hopes about China's economic stimulus boosted sentiments. Gains in shares of Advanced Info Service PCL, the third-biggest company by market value, and active buying in utility firm Glow Energy PCL helped lift the broader Thai market. The SET index closed up 0.5 percent at 1,360.44. Domestic institutions were major buyers of Thai shares on Wednesday. Brokers expect limited gains near term thanks to rising political risk. 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. Data released on Wednesday showed Thai exports rose more than expected in February but imports plunged again, which might show how the country's long political crisis is hitting domestic demand. Singaporer's benchmark Straits Times index was up 1.3 percent at 3,143.32, the highest close since Jan. 10, as MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.2 percent. Foreign investors bought shares in the region, according to stock exchange and Thomson Reuters data. The Philippines posted a net inflows of 417.5 million peso ($9.26 million), Malaysia's 62.79 million ringgit ($19 million) and Indonesia's 107.7 billion rupiah ($9.46 million). Vietnam bucked the trend, falling 2.3 percent as individual investors sold stocks to reduce margin trading. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 403.13 400.77 +0.59 Singapore 3143.32 3104.17 +1.26 Kuala Lumpur 1839.14 1837.17 +0.11 Bangkok 1360.44 1354.01 +0.47 Jakarta 4728.24 4703.09 +0.53 Manila 6348.50 6336.34 +0.19 Ho Chi Minh 588.06 601.85 -2.29 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 403.13 388.37 +3.80 Singapore 3143.32 3167.43 -0.76 Kuala Lumpur 1839.14 1866.96 -1.49 Bangkok 1360.44 1298.71 +4.75 Jakarta 4728.24 4274.18 +10.62 Manila 6348.50 5889.83 +7.79 Ho Chi Minh 588.06 504.63 +16.53 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ($1 = 45.0700 Philippine Pesos) ($1 = 3.3045 Malaysian Ringgits) ($1 = 11392.5000 Indonesian Rupiahs) ($1 = 32.5600 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Joyjeet Das)
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