SE Asia Stocks-Thai stocks up as political tensions ease; Indonesia flat on weak GDP

Reuters

BANGKOK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Thai stocks rose almost 1 percent

on Wednesday after positive comments by a senator on the

controversial amnesty bill eased tensions while the Indonesian

index was largely flat after weak third-quarter economic growth

data.

Other Southeast Asian stock markets traded largely in tight

ranges, tracking Asian stock markets in the face of uncertainty

over monetary policy in the U.S. and Europe.

The Thai SET index was up 0.7 percent at 1,424.58 at

the midday trading break, extending a gain of nearly 2 percent

in the previous session.

Among actively traded stocks, Siam Commercial Bank Pcl

jumped 3.1 percent, Airports of Thailand Pcl

rose 2 percent and Krung Thai Bank Pcl gained 1 percent

amid short-covering.

The Speaker of Thailand's Senate said it will reject an

amnesty bill critics say is aimed at bringing back convicted

former premier Thaksin Shinawatra from exile, a move that could

defuse rising tension on the streets of Bangkok.

"I reject this bill and will send it back to the lower

house. We will not accept this amnesty and the Senate majority

agrees with me," Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij told Reuters.

The Senate is expected to hold a press briefing later in the

day.

"If this is the case, the amnesty issue will disappear from

the Thai political field for at least 180 days," strategists at

broker KGI Securities wrote in a report.

According to Thai law, the Senate has 180 days to send the

bill back to the lower house, which would have to wait until

that time before bringing the bill back to the table.

Strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said the

SET index would be trapped in a narrow range of 1,400-1,440

until the Senate considers a first reading of the bill on

Monday.

Foreign investors would continue slowing investments,

awaiting clarity on the political situation while Thai economic

fundamentals remained weak, they wrote in a report.

"We do not think protesters will stop movements until they

hear some clarity from the parliament," they said.

Foreign investors were net sellers of Thai shares worth

about $200 million over the past four sessions amid escalating

protests against the bill.

Indonesia's benchmark index edged up 0.1 percent

amid mixed performance by large caps, with shares of

Telekomunikasi Indonesia down 3.2 percent while shares

of Bank Mandiri rose 0.6 percent.

Indonesia's economy grew at its weakest pace in nearly four

years in the third quarter, throttled by weak exports and

slowing consumption as higher fuel prices bite.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change at 0617 GMT

Market Current Prev Close Pct Move

TR SE Asia Index* 415.82 415.97 -0.04

Singapore 3206.10 3205.54 +0.02

Kuala Lumpur 1804.27 1807.47 -0.18

Bangkok 1424.58 1415.44 +0.65

Jakarta 4428.35 4423.29 +0.11

Manila 6466.31 6519.58 -0.82

Ho Chi Minh 501.07 499.79 +0.26

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