SE Asia Stocks - Most lower; Thai index rebounds in thin volume
BANGKOK, April 9 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat-to-weaker on Thursday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the earnings season, with the Thai index eking out small gains in thin-volume trade before a long market holiday next week. The Thai SET index edged up 0.09 percent, with about 2.5 billion shares changing hands -- 20 percent of the full-day average over the past 30 sessions. Shares were mixed ahead of January-March earnings releases due from next week. Bangkok Bank eased 0.3 percent after four days of gains while PTT Global Chemical jumped 2.2 percent amid hopes of an earnings turnaround. "First-quarter earnings for energy and petrochemical stocks could swing from negative bottomlines in the fourth quarter back to black," Maybank Kim Eng Securities said in a report. "Any setback in the short run is likely to be a sideways drop," the broker said. It expected the index to test the 1,555-1560 range after the Songkran holidays amid earnings plays. The Thai stock market will be closed from April 13-15 to celebrate the country's new year. Stocks in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia drifted into negative territory, extending Wednesday's weakness. "Investors are anticipating the start of the corporate results season which would be a clearer indicator of how the year is panning out," Singapore-based broker NRA Capital said in a report. Bucking the trend, Vietnam rebounded from the previous session's fall on domestic buying. The Philippine stock market was closed on Thursday for a public holiday. Asian stocks rose on Thursday and the dollar drew support from minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting showing the U.S. central bank was still on course to hike interest rates this year For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0530 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3456.76 3460.68 -0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1846.65 1850.31 -0.20 Bangkok 1546.20 1544.86 +0.09 Jakarta 5481.50 5486.58 -0.09 Ho Chi Minh 550.33 547.72 +0.48 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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