SE Asia Stocks-Thai shares up on earnings plays; Malaysia eases ahead of Q4 GDP

Reuters

BANGKOK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets

mostly gained on Wednesday after upbeat trade data from China

and an optimistic economic outlook from the Federal Reserve

chief, with gains in large-caps in the reporting season lifting

Thai shares.

The Thai SET index was up 0.3 percent near midday,

as favourable fourth-quarter earnings by large corporations such

as top mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service

lured buyers.

Advanced Info shares gained as much as 1.4 percent to 213

baht, the highest in almost a week, after it reported a rise in

October-December net profit to 8.8 billion baht ($268.70

million).

Brokers said caution over the domestic political situation

remained, including the inconclusive Feb. 2 poll and a plan by

the Election Commission to call for a by-election.

"If that is correct Thailand will not have a permanent

government for at least another two months, which will be

negative to domestic confidence and the economic outlook,"

strategists at broker KGI Securities wrote in a report.

Stocks in Malaysia slipped into negative territory shedding

early gains, with the main index down 0.1 percent as

investors awaited fourth-quarter GDP numbers, due later in the

day, for indications on economic growth outlook.

Malaysia's fourth-quarter gross domestic product

was forecast to grow 4.8 percent from a year earlier, a Reuters

poll of economists showed.

Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines

and Vietnam edged higher, mainly following the

lead in Asian stock markets, with MSCI's broadest index of

Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up about 1

percent.

In Jakarta, traders and economists also cited optimism about

a newly-appointed trade minister as helping bolster sentiment.

Among the bright spots, shares of Philippine Globe Telecom

jumped more than 2 percent after a brokerage view.

Daiwa Capital Markets rated the stock a 'buy', partly due to the

prospect of strong revenue for 2014.

"Globe Telecom's fourth-quarter net profit was lower than we

forecast due mainly to an escalation in costs. Despite this, we

retain our positive view on the stock as the company's revenue

growth momentum remains strong for 2014," it said.

For Globe Telecoms earnings, click

China's exports beat expectations in January, rising 10.6

percent from a year earlier, while imports jumped 10 percent,

leaving the country with a trade surplus of $31.9 billion for

the month, the Customs Administration said.

Fed chief Janet Yellen made it clear on Tuesday she would

not make any abrupt changes to U.S. monetary policy, saying the

central bank was on track to keep reducing its stimulus even

though the labor market recovery was far from complete.

For Asian Companies click;

For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change at 0459 GMT

Market Current Prev Close Pct Move

TR SE Asia Index* 385.51 384.25 +0.33

Singapore 3042.68 3029.10 +0.45

Kuala Lumpur 1822.42 1824.17 -0.10

Bangkok 1300.24 1296.25 +0.31

Jakarta 4484.91 4470.19 +0.33

Manila 6114.06 6106.03 +0.13

Ho Chi Minh 558.93 553.90 +0.91

* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a

highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,

Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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