SE Asia Stocks -Most rise; sentiment up on hopes US may delay raising rates
June 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets gained on Thursday, in line with the other regional markets on expectations the U.S. would delay raising interest rates after weak first-quarter growth in the world's largest economy. The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace in the first quarter than previously estimated, turning in one of its worst-ever non-recession performances, but growth already appears to have rebounded strongly. Thailand's SET index hit an eight-month intraday high of 1477.62 in the early trade. It was up 0.5 percent at 1476.08 by midday, led by energy shares with the country's top oil firm PTT PCL gaining 2.3 percent. The Bangkok market has been waiting for direction from the policy discussion on Thai energy reforms, scheduled to be announced by the end of this month. Malaysia bucked the trend, but palm oil producer Boustead Plantations Bhd rose 4 percent on the first day of trade after it raised 1.05 billion ringgit ($325 million) in its initial public offering. In Jakarta, banks led the gains with a 1.9 percent rise in Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and 1 percent rise in Bank Mandiri. However, analysts expect the Jakarta Composite Index to move sideways due to political uncertainty ahead of presidential polls scheduled on July 9. For Asian companies click For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0647 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 425.50 423.69 +0.43 Singapore 3274.98 3261.54 +0.41 Kuala Lumpur 1883.27 1889.55 -0.33 Bangkok 1476.08 1468.49 +0.52 Jakarta 4856.12 4838.98 +0.36 Manila 6872.09 6834.68 +0.55 Ho Chi Minh 576.54 572.27 +0.75 * 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 Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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