SE Asia Stocks -Thai shares fall for 6th day; eyes on govt formation
BANGKOK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Stocks in Thailand fell for a sixth straight session on Friday as a strong sell-off in global stocks dented sentiment, but optimism over the domestic economy lifted banking and consumer stocks. Investors await the formation of an interim government later this month after Thailand on Thursday set up an interim legislature which will appoint a prime minister to choose a 35-member cabinet. "The SET is likely to have a moderate recovery in August driven by local factors like the setting up of a new government and possible earnings upgrades from the street to reflect stronger fundamentals in 2015," broker KGI Securities said. The key SET index was down 0.6 percent at midday. It dropped 1.1 percent on Thursday amid foreign outflows and a weaker baht due to renewed worries about a recession in the second quarter. However, the Bank of Thailand insisted that economic activity "likely" picked up in the quarter. Shares of energy firm PTT fell amid weak global oil prices. Shares of beverage firms, such as Ichitan Group and Oishi Group, dropped after a news report that the revenue department would charge a higher tax on ready-to-drink green tea. Shares of Krung Thai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Charoen Pokphand Foods were among the top percentage gainers on the index. Singapore's benchmark index lost nearly 1 percent, reversing from a rally on Thursday. Shares in United Overseas Bank Ltd dropped 4 percent after it said its bad debt charges had doubled in the previous quarter. Malaysia hovered around its lowest since June 10, and the Philippines traded in negative territory while Vietnam was nearly unchanged. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.1 percent. Indonesian markets have been shut all week and will reopen on Monday. The U.S. S&P500 stock index posted its worst daily fall since April and its first monthly drop since January on Thursday, as economic data sparked concern the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than some have expected. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0537 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 435.91 440.11 -0.95 Singapore 3345.91 3374.06 -0.83 Kuala Lumpur 1863.82 1871.36 -0.40 Bangkok 1492.96 1502.39 -0.63 Manila 6860.70 6864.82 -0.06 Ho Chi Minh 596.21 596.07 +0.02 * 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; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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