SE Asia Stocks - Indonesia up before court verdict; Thai at more than 14-month high
BANGKOK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Stocks in Indonesia recouped early losses and closed near a 15-month high on Thursday ahead of a court ruling on the presidential election, while Thai shares edged up after the country's army chief was appointed prime minister. Jakarta's Composite Index, which measures the movement of 501 stocks, finished 0.3 percent higher at 5,206.14, its highest close since May 22, 2013 and just shy of the record close of 5,214.97 hit on May 20 last year. The benchmark lost almost 1 percent in early trading amid caution before the court verdict, but brokers said late buying reflected expectations of a ruling in favour of Joko Widodo. Foreign investors bought shares for a second day worth a combined 925 billion rupiah ($79 million) as the rupiah strengthened to trade around 11,685 against the dollar compared with a previous close of 11,698. In Bangkok, the key SET index rose for a third day, closing slightly higher at 1,551.41, the highest finish in more than 14 months. Brokers attributed the rise to optimism around the nomination of General Prayuth Chan-ocha as Prime Minister and a soon-to-be-formed government. State-run Krung Thai Bank gained almost 2 percent while home builder Land & Houses jumped 2.7 percent amid selective buying in sectors seen as beneficiaries of an improved economic outlook and political stability. Malaysia fell, bucking the trend in the region, with retail investors selling a net 42 million ringgit ($13.2 million) of stock while domestic institutions and foreign investors were net buyers, exchange data showed. The Philippine stock market was closed for a public holiday and will reopen on Friday. 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* 444.85 444.63 +0.05 Singapore 3324.09 3323.65 +0.01 Kuala Lumpur 1874.81 1878.89 -0.22 Bangkok 1551.41 1550.77 +0.04 Jakarta 5206.14 5190.17 +0.31 Ho Chi Minh 612.94 606.70 +1.03 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 444.85 388.37 +14.54 Singapore 3324.09 3167.43 +4.95 Kuala Lumpur 1874.81 1866.96 +0.42 Bangkok 1551.41 1298.71 +19.46 Jakarta 5206.14 4274.18 +21.80 Manila -- 5889.83 +20.49 Ho Chi Minh 612.94 504.63 +21.46 * 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 US dollar = 11,685.0000 rupiah) (1 US dollar = 3.1690 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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