SE Asia Stocks-Down in strong week; Thailand flat ahead of holiday
BANGKOK, April 4 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat-to-weaker on Friday as investors cashed in on rallying markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines ahead of U.S. jobs data, while Thai shares pared gains amid fears about political tension during a long weekend. Indonesia was an underperformer after a bout of profit-taking in financials and large caps while the market's high valuation was also a concern. Jakarta's Composite Index ended down 0.7 percent at a one-week low. Shares of Bank Mandiri lost 1.7 percent after a nearly 9 percent rally this week when foreign inflows gave a boost to the market. The benchmark was up 1.9 percent on the week, taking its year-to-date gain to 13.7 percent in local currency term, among Asia's outperformers. A Bank Indonesia survey showed Indonesia's consumers were more optimistic in March, bolstered by expectations that the economy will improve in the next six months. The Philippine index fell 0.4 percent. It jumped 3.2 percent on the week, Southeast Asia's best performer. Foreign investors were net buyers for an eighth session, purchasing a net 442 million peso ($9.8 million) worth of stocks, data showed. Thai SET index closed nearly flat on the day, up almost 2 percent on the week. Thai baht underperformed in Asia on rising political tension. Thai market will be shut on Monday for a public holiday, reopening on Tuesday. Hundreds of thousands of Thai government supporters are expected to descend on Bangkok this weekend in a symbolic show of force after months of sometimes violent protests aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The region was broadly rangebound on the day as global market investors took to the sidelines ahead of monthly U.S. employment data, seen as a key variable on the direction of the Federal Reserve's policy. 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* 413.81 414.08 -0.06 Singapore 3212.72 3220.06 -0.23 Kuala Lumpur 1856.61 1855.63 +0.05 Bangkok 1392.01 1391.22 +0.06 Jakarta 4857.94 4891.32 -0.68 Manila 6561.20 6587.08 -0.39 Ho Chi Minh 593.04 589.44 +0.61 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 413.81 388.37 +6.55 Singapore 3212.72 3167.43 +1.43 Kuala Lumpur 1856.61 1866.96 -0.55 Bangkok 1392.01 1298.71 +7.18 Jakarta 4857.94 4274.18 +13.66 Manila 6561.20 5889.83 +11.40 Ho Chi Minh 593.04 504.63 +17.52 * 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 = 32.4800 Thai Baht) ($1 = 44.9450 Philippine Pesos) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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