SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls for 2nd day; energy shares lift Thai index
BANGKOK, April 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were range bound on Friday, with overbought Singapore shares heading for a second straight day of fall, while buying in laggard energy shares helped bring Thai benchmark to the highest in almost seven weeks. Asian shares edged up in early trade, shrugging off a languid performance on Wall Street after another set of lacklustre U.S. economic data. In Singapore, the key Straits Times Index was down 0.3 percent, further pulling away from a more than seven-year high hit on April 15. The index's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) was at 72.15, hovering in an overbought level of 70 or above for five straight day. Sentiment would be slightly cautious after Wall Street's overnight pullback, Singapore-based NRA Capital said. "There could be some tempted to take profit ahead of the weekend though there seems to be more optimism that stock prices are more unlikely to be crashing with a more progressive drop instead if sentiment changes," the broker said in a report. Profit taking hit most markets in Southeast Asia but hopes that the interest rate hike in the United States could be imposed later than June lent support, said brokers in the region. Bangkok's SET index was up 0.10 percent, climbing at one point to 1,575.09, the highest since March 3. Shares of top energy firm PTT gained almost 2 percent after a 6.3 percent jump on the previous day. PTT traded at an earnings multiple of 11.15 times, well below the SET's 16.74 times, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. Thai SET was on track for a weekly gain of 1.5 percent, its third and trailing Vietnam's 3 percent. Singapore and Malaysia were poised for a fifth straight weekly gain, adding 1.4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Indonesia looked set to end the week 1.3 percent lower, with the Philippines down 2.3 percent, hammered by selling in large caps which led the index to a record closing high of 8,127.48 in the previous week. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0409 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3522.12 3531.61 -0.27 Kuala Lumpur 1848.09 1847.94 +0.01 Bangkok 1571.60 1570.00 +0.10 Jakarta 5421.02 5420.73 +0.01 Manila 7933.14 7948.20 -0.19 Ho Chi Minh 570.76 568.28 +0.44 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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