SE Asia Stocks-Most up on gains in energy shares; Philippines' Bloomberry gains
BANGKOK, April 16 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly rose on Thursday as investors shifted their focus to energy shares after a rally in global oil prices, while Philippines' Bloomberry Resorts Corp jumped after a casino deal in South Korea. The Thai SET index was up 0.9 percent, led by a 6.4 percent surge in the country's biggest refiner, Thai Oil Pcl , and a 4.8 percent gain in its parent company, PTT Pcl . The index hit a high of 1,563.07, the highest since March 9. Trading volume was relatively thin, with about 2 billion shares changing hands, 16 percent of the full-day average over the past 30 sessions. The Thai market is expected to move in a narrow range, broker Phillip Securities said in a report. "Even though Thai stocks may be poised for a higher open, tracking an oil price rally which would give a lift to energy counters, trading volume is expected to remain subdued during the holiday-shortened trading week," it said. Banks were mixed, with Kasikornbank down 0.4 percent and Krung Thai Bank up 0.42 percent. The broker said 10 banks under its coverage were expected to post an aggregate first-quarter net profit of 49.7 billion baht ($1.5 billion), down 1.3 percent from a year earlier. It rated the sector 'overweight', citing the government's infrastructure projects as a boost to bank loans. Malaysia's main index edged up 0.09 percent, with oil and gas firm Sapurakencana Petroleum Bhd higher 2.7 percent in active turnover. Singapore's Sembcorp Marine rose 1.6 percent, outperforming a 0.4 percent slide in the key Straits Times Index. Brent crude oil prices opened at their highest level since February and close to 2015 highs in early Asian trading after a near 6 percent rally the previous session, but analysts warned that the market remains oversupplied. Bloomberry shares advanced 3.7 percent in the Philippines after its plan to invest more than $1 billion in an integrated casino complex in South Korea. The key index was on track for a fourth straight loss after hitting a record high on April 10. Jakarta's composite index rebounded from a near three-week closing low on Wednesday, while Vietnam extended gains from the previous day. Most Asian share markets took cues from a global surge in equities and rose on Thursday, while weak U.S. economic data sent the dollar lower. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0445 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3527.34 3539.95 -0.36 Kuala Lumpur 1841.79 1840.13 +0.09 Bangkok 1561.38 1547.83 +0.88 Jakarta 5426.44 5414.55 +0.22 Manila 7883.08 7906.46 -0.30 Ho Chi Minh 567.50 564.50 +0.53 ($1 = 32.4000 baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Erik dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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