SE Asia Stocks-Most edge higher; Thai index at 3-week low

Reuters

BANGKOK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Thai stocks fell almost 2

percent to a three-week low on Wednesday amid domestic political

tensions while most other markets in Southeast Asia edged higher

amid hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve would maintain its monetary

stimulus.

The Thai benchmark SET index was down 1.7 percent at

1,430.98, the lowest since Oct. 9, with shares such as Airports

of Thailand and Siam Commercial Bank reversing

recent gains amid profit-taking.

Cautious investors cut riskier holdings as lawmakers will

debate a political amnesty bill on Thursday seen aiming to annul

legal cases involving a coup in 2006.

"The Thai political situation will be more intense in the

near term and should weigh on market sentiment," strategists at

broker KGI Securities wrote in a report.

"The lower house has resolved to meet tomorrow to vote on

the amnesty bill, while the opposition Democrats are urging

people to come out on the street the same day to voice their

objection to the bill," they said.

The Philippine index was an outperformer, up 0.73

percent, as market players bought shares in beaten-down large

caps such Ayala Land Inc which jumped 3.6 percent, the

top percentage gainer on the benchmark.

Bargain hunting across exchanges helped index heavyweights

including Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional, and Indonesia's

Bank Mandiri snap recent losses.

Investors are closely watching the U.S. Fed's two-day policy

meeting ending later on Wednesday for clues on its monetary

policy, with analysts expecting its bond buying to be maintained

for the next few months.

Among weak spots, shares of Indonesia's PT Indofood Sukses

Makmur Tbk dropped 5.5 percent after the instant

noodle maker posted a significant drop in net profit for the

nine-month period ended Sept. 30.

The broader Jakarta's Composite Index pared earlier

gains, edging down 0.09 percent.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change at 0520 GMT

Market Current Prev Close Pct Move

TR SE Asia Index* 421.61 423.81 -0.52

Singapore 3217.50 3208.82 +0.27

Kuala Lumpur 1813.58 1815.65 -0.11

Bangkok 1430.98 1455.86 -1.71

Jakarta 4558.57 4562.77 -0.09

Manila 6591.39 6543.46 +0.73

Ho Chi Minh 499.19 497.08 +0.42

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