SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares near 4-wk lows; Philippine marginally down
BANGKOK, July 31 (Reuters) - Thai shares fell to their lowest closing level in almost four weeks on Thursday amid a fall in the local currency and late selloffs in energy stocks, while the Philippine index erased early gains due to foreign-led selling and before the central bank's interest rate decision. The SET index closed down 1.1 percent, trimming its gain on the month to 1.1 percent. Shares of the country's top two energy firms, PTT and PTT Exploration and Production, fell more than 2 percent each. "We had a bit of negative sentiment building up late in the day, including a weaker baht and selling in energy shares related to global oil prices," said Koraphat Vorachet, a strategist with Nomura Pattanasin, as brent crude slipped below $106 a barrel. The baht led daily losses among emerging Asian currencies on renewed worries about a recession in the second quarter while the Bank of Thailand insisted that economic activity "likely" picked up in the quarter. The Philippine index eased 0.04 percent after an early modest rise and a net foreign selling worth 229 million pesos ($5.25 million), stock exchange data showed. It posted a 0.3 percent gain on the month, among the region's worst performers. Interest rate-sensitive stocks had a mixed performance, with property firm Ayala Land up 0.5 percent, Metropolitan Bank and Trust rising 0.8 percent and Bank of the Philippine Islands down 0.5 percent. The Philippine central bank raised its main interest rate on Thursday for the first time in three years to tame price pressures and left the door open for further tightening, saying its inflation targets for this year and next were "at risk". The announcement came after market hours. 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* 440.16 442.62 -0.57 Singapore 3374.06 3353.65 +0.61 Kuala Lumpur 1871.36 1878.34 -0.37 Bangkok 1502.39 1518.79 -1.08 Manila 6864.82 6867.59 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 596.07 589.33 +1.14 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 440.16 388.37 +13.34 Singapore 3374.06 3167.43 +6.52 Kuala Lumpur 1871.36 1866.96 +0.24 Bangkok 1502.39 1298.71 +15.68 Jakarta -- 4274.18 +19.06 Manila 6864.82 5889.83 +16.60 Ho Chi Minh 596.07 504.63 +16.78 * 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 = 43.6200 Philippine Pesos) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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