SE Asia Stocks-Thai SET index hits 1,550; Indonesia over 14-month high
BANGKOK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Southeast Asia stock markets rose on Wednesday, in line with other Asian stock markets, with Thai benchmark topping its psychological mark of 1,550, a day before the nomination of a new Prime Minister, and Indonesia hitting an over 14-month high. Gains in Bangkok were led by tourism stocks including airport operator Airports of Thailand Pcl and home builder Land & Houses Pcl, with brokers citing optimism around improved outlook of local economy and political situation. "The NLA (National Legislative Assembly) is set to meet tomorrow to choose the new Prime Minister, to be followed by the setting up of a new cabinet possibly by the end of this month," strategists at KGI Securities wrote in a report. The NLA is likely to nominate General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the May 22 coup after months of street protests, assembly members told Reuters. Broker KGI said it expects the market to rise further this month, led by shares in sectors seen as beneficiaries of the domestic economy, including property, tourism and contractors. The benchmark SET index closed up 0.5 percent at 1,550.77. It rose at one point to 1,552.52, just shy of an over 14-month intraday high of 1,552.66 hit on Aug. 14. Investors bought Indonesian large caps such as Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Telkom Indonesia, bringing the key Jakarta's Composite Index to 5,190.17, the highest close since May 29, 2013. The market awaited a court ruling on the presidential election on Thursday, brokers said. "We expect Jokowi's win to be confirmed by constitutional court decision, which should result in a slight positive sentiment for the market," Trimegah Securities said in a research report. Asian stocks were steady on Wednesday after strong U.S. housing data lifted Wall Street shares, helping nudge Treasury yields higher and keeping the dollar to extend gains against the euro and yen. 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* 444.68 444.96 -0.07 Singapore 3323.65 3316.43 +0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1878.89 1872.16 +0.36 Bangkok 1550.77 1542.85 +0.51 Jakarta 5190.17 5165.17 +0.48 Manila 7096.49 7082.75 +0.19 Ho Chi Minh 606.70 604.64 +0.34 * 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 Fransiska Nangoy in JAKARTA; Editing by Anand Basu)
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