SE Asia Stocks - Fall amid weak data, regional holidays
BANGKOK, July 28 (Reuters) - Stocks in Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam fell on Monday amid holidays in Southeast Asia, with tepid economic data keeping appetite for risk assets in check. The Thai SET index snapped a two-day rising streak to edge down 0.5 percent, with investors selling recent gainers such as large-cap banks. Thailand's exports in June improved but imports tumbled sharply, highlighting the challenges faced by the military government as it tries to get economic growth back on track. Exports grew 3.9 percent from a year earlier, stronger than expectations in a Reuters poll of economists for a 3.1 percent gain. But the growth rate was well below the 7.2 percent indicated by a senior commerce ministry official on Friday. "This week, in our view, will be highly volatile. Market valuations are high and require upbeat macro figures and earnings to significantly extend recent gains," broker KGI Securities said in a report. Midcap stocks bucked the trend, with shares of cement firm TPI Polene surging 11.5 percent after it told the exchange late on Friday of its stock-split plan. Shares of chicken exporter GFPT jumped 6.3 percent after McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) said it planned to halt all imports of chicken products from China and shift that business to Thailand. The Philippine index slipped 0.5 percent amid active selling in large-caps. Alliance Global Group shares dropped 3.7 percent to their lowest since mid-June, while Megaworld Corp was down 2.7 percent to a near four-month low. The Philippines' Department of Finance released on Thursday fiscal data that showed the country's budget swung back to deficit in June. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index dropped 1.5 percent on widespread selling and further declines were expected in coming weeks. In Asia, stocks shrugged off a drop in Wall Street and hit a three-year high on Monday, with China taking the lead after data showed a robust jump in profits earned by industrial firms in the world's second-largest economy. Singapore and Malaysia were closed on Monday. The Philippines will be closed on Tuesday, as will Malaysia. The Indonesian market will be closed for the entire week. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0733 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 444.63 445.57 -0.21 Bangkok 1536.92 1543.85 -0.45 Manila 6850.47 6889.55 -0.57 Ho Chi Minh 591.01 600.14 -1.52 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Hanoi bureau; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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