SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia hits record closing high; Thai banks weaker
BANGKOK, March 2 (Reuters) - The key Indonesian stock index closed at a record high on Monday as easing inflation data bolstered selective buying while the Thai benchmark hit a one-month low on selling in banking stocks. The Jakarta composite index closed 0.5 percent higher at 5,477.83, above the record closing level of 5,451.42 on Thursday. Among actively-traded stocks, retailer Matahari Putra Prima jumped 3 percent and Astra International rose 0.3 percent, with weaker February inflation data supporting interest rate-sensitive sectors such as automobiles. Indonesia's annual inflation in February eased more than expected to 6.29 percent, due to falling prices of fuel and chillies, the statistics bureau said on Monday. The Thai SET index finished 0.3 percent lower at 1,582.14, its lowest close since Jan. 30, led down by banking shares such as Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank . Falling consumer prices in Thailand have made investors cautious about the central bank's outlook on interest rates, which is due for review on March 11, brokers said. Thailand reported annual consumer price index fell in February for a second straight month due to lower oil prices while Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said the price weakness was not a concern as purchasing power remained positive. The Philippine main index was up 0.6 percent, recouping some of the losses over the past two sessions. Foreign inflows lifted shares such as Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala Land, stock exchange data showed. Others in the region ended mixed after a rangebound session while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose a modest 0.1 percent as China's weekend interest rate cut partially offset soft U.S. data. 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 Singapore 3403.89 3402.86 +0.03 Kuala Lumpur 1817.13 1821.21 -0.22 Bangkok 1582.14 1587.01 -0.31 Jakarta 5477.83 5450.29 +0.51 Manila 7773.92 7730.57 +0.56 Ho Chi Minh 590.73 592.57 -0.31 Change on year Market Current End 2014 Pct Move Singapore 3403.89 3365.15 +1.15 Kuala Lumpur 1817.13 1761.25 +3.17 Bangkok 1582.14 1497.67 +5.64 Jakarta 5477.83 5226.95 +4.80 Manila 7773.92 7230.57 +7.51 Ho Chi Minh 590.73 545.63 +8.27 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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