SE Asia Stocks -Singapore leads regional gains; banks up after results

viernes 31 de octubre de 2014 03:11 GYT

BANGKOK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian shares edged
higher on Friday as Singapore's key index touched a more than
three-week high, led by bank stocks, and the Thai benchmark
extended gains as buying by domestic funds lifted large caps.
    The sentiment in Asia was broadly positive,
with Japanese stocks up after the Bank of Japan surprised
markets with fresh easing steps. 
    Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.8 percent
at 3,259.61, the highest since Oct. 9. It is on track for a
weekly gain of 1.1 percent and a modest monthly loss, in line
with others in the region.
    Gains in U.S. stocks overnight were also supportive, brokers
    "With Wall Street's firm overnight close, we think it will
be hard to ignore the gains and there could be some slight
window dressing as well, this being the last day of the trading
month though sentiment is still cautious given the recent
volatility," broker NRA Capital said in a report.
    Shares of United Overseas Bank Ltd climbed 2.2
percent after the company reported a better-than-expected
quarterly profit. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd
 and DBS Group Holdings Ltd both traded
higher after favourable results.
    The Thai SET index rose 0.5 percent, up for a
seventh straight session. Portfolio managers continued buying
shares for long-term equity funds and retirement mutual funds,
an equity trader in Bangkok said.
    Favourable tax treatment made the funds popular among
investors, with demand often active towards the end of the year.
    Shares of Advanced Info Service Pcl and Siam
Cement Pcl were among those actively traded.
    External factors overshadowed weak domestic data, brokers
said, after data showed Thailand's manufacturing output fell for
an 18th straight month in September, reflecting weakness in the
production of cars, hard disk drives, petroleum and jewellery.
    Strong economic news in major countries drove greater
interest towards risk assets and boosted a belief that the U.S.
could tolerate higher interest rates, broker KGI Securities said
in a report.
    U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, boosted by a strong reading on
quarterly economic growth and by another round of upbeat
earnings reports including Visa, which accounted for nearly 140
points in the Dow industrials. 
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 Change at 0612 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3259.61       3234.31       +0.78
 Kuala Lumpur       1843.59       1842.78       +0.04
 Bangkok            1573.06       1565.35       +0.49
 Jakarta            5068.07       5058.85       +0.18
 Manila             7182.94       7170.99       +0.17
 Ho Chi Minh         593.22        589.14       +0.69
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)