SE Asia Stocks-Firmer; large-caps lead S'pore to 2-year high
BANGKOK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets gained on Thursday after a subdued session, with Singapore hitting a two-year high, led by large-caps such as Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Thai stocks setting a new 17-1/2 year closing high. Trading volumes in the region were relatively light, with volumes of Singapore at 0.8 times a monthly average. Investors were cautious as Asian shares retreated late in the session, with North Korea threatening a nuclear test. Singapore's Straits Times Index rose for a second day after encouraging manufacturing data from China. It ended up 0.53 percent at 3,248.39, the highest close since Jan. 18, 2011. Bangkok's SET index also extended its gain for a second session, rising 0.7 percent to 1,449.09, the highest close since July 14, 1995. PTT Global Chemical Pcl gained 1.3 percent on hopes of quarterly results. Foreign investors had bought Thai shares over the past eight sessions to Wednesday worth a combined $287 million, further strengthening the Thai baht this week which also boosted corporate demand for dollars. "With the strengthening Thai baht, we are looking to buy dollars in a high volume which will be for our investments over five years," PTT Exploration and Production Pcl's CFO Penchan Charikasem told reporters. Philippine Composite Index ended two sessions of falls to rise 0.4 percent to 6,117.27, but still hovering below its Monday's record finish of 6,171.70. The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange's VN Index climbed 2.04 percent to 452.40, adding on Thursday's 0.12 percent gain, in a technical recovery, driven mainly by blue chips. Stock markets in Malaysia and Indonesia shut for a market holiday. 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 TR SE Asia Index* 433.21 433.01 +0.05 Singapore 3248.39 3231.23 +0.53 Kuala Lumpur -- 1635.25 -- Bangkok 1449.09 1439.20 +0.69 Jakarta -- 4418.73 -- Manila 6117.27 6092.53 +0.41 Ho Chi Minh 452.40 443.37 +2.04 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 433.21 424.10 +2.15 Singapore 3248.39 3167.08 +2.57 Kuala Lumpur -- 1688.95 -3.18 Bangkok 1449.09 1391.93 +4.11 Jakarta -- 4316.69 +2.36 Manila 6117.27 5812.73 +5.24 Ho Chi Minh 452.40 413.73 +9.35 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Stock Market Volume (shares) Market Current Volume Average Volume 30 days Singapore 218,244,300 272,313,503 Bangkok 21,661,047 19,508,808 Manila 97,306 91,974 Ho Chi Minh 49,811 73,466
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DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.