SE Asia Stocks -Indonesian shares fall; Thai off highs
BANGKOK, July 3 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares eased on Thursday as investors remained on the defensive ahead of the July 9 presidential election, while Thai stocks retreated from a near one-year high as profit-taking hit big lenders including Bangkok Bank. Banking shares in Jakarta also fell. Bank Mandiri and Bank Rakyat Indonesia were among the battered stocks as the broader Jakarta composite index (JCI) edged down 0.2 percent after three days of gains. Foreign investors were net sellers in shares of large cap banks, Thomson Reuters data showed, while the rupiah led losses among emerging Asian currencies due to caution ahead of next week's election. DBS Group Research rated Indonesia 'neutral' and expected the JCI to move between 4,200 and 5,200 in the near term. The index was at 4,894.55 at 0701 GMT. "JCI should be supported in a six-month timeframe, as the new leader, whoever he may be, is expected to spend more on infrastructure, education, social safety and healthcare," regional equity strategist Joanne Goh wrote in a July 2 report. The Thai SET index was down 0.12 percent at midday, with Bangkok Bank shares falling 0.3 percent and Krung Thai Bank shares 0.5 percent lower. Both gained more than 3 percent on Wednesday. The index earlier hit a near one-year high of 1,495.98 after data showed the consumer confidence index rose for a second month in June, pointing to a possible improvement in domestic demand after the army took power. Among those actively traded, shares of Siam Commercial Bank rose to a near 10-month high, underpinned by economic optimism and positive loan growth outlook. Shares of hotelier and food retailer Minor International hit an all-time high. Other markets in Southeast Asia edged higher. Asian stocks lingered near three-year highs as investors waited for the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report to see if the economy is gaining momentum. Among bright spots, the Philippine benchmark climbed to an over six-week high amid selective buying, including dividend yielding stocks such as shares of Philippine Long Distance Telephone. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0701 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 429.91 429.65 +0.06 Singapore 3279.74 3263.91 +0.49 Kuala Lumpur 1888.64 1886.84 +0.10 Bangkok 1490.06 1491.81 -0.12 Jakarta 4894.55 4908.27 -0.28 Manila 6906.51 6850.60 +0.82 Ho Chi Minh 582.89 578.80 +0.71 * 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 and Kaweewit Kaewjinda; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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