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SE Asia Stocks - Indonesia snaps losing streak; most others weak

BANGKOK, March 24 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks eked out

small gains on Tuesday amid a rise in the rupiah and

selective buying in large-caps while other Southeast Asian stock

markets were flat-to-weaker after a measure of Chinese factory

activity came weaker than expected.

Jakarta's composite index ended the day 0.2 percent

higher after two straight days of modest falls. Banking shares

were among those actively traded, led by Bank Rakyat Indonesia

and Bank Negara Indonesia.

The rupiah rose to its highest in more than two weeks amid

uncertainty over the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes and

after Indonesia's finance minister said he would work with the

central bank to strengthen the

currency.

Broker Bahana Securities cut its rating on the market to

neutral, with a end-year target of 5,550, and continued to

recommend clients to adopt a more defensive strategy in consumer

staples and telecoms.

"While sentiment on the IDR has somewhat improved, the

central bank's decision on its interest rate policy in the lead

up to the upcoming Fed rate hike will remain a crucial

determinant for both the equity and currency markets," Bahana

Securities' head of research Harry Su said.

Singapore stocks ended little changed for a second

straight day, Thai stocks fell for a third day and

Vietnam was down 0.6 percent, its second straight loss.

Malaysia rose 1 percent, its first in three days.

The Philippines was down 0.2 percent on the day. It

is still up 8.3 percent on the year and is Southeast Asia's best

performer, thanks to its economic outperformance.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintained its 2015 GDP

growth forecast for the Philippines at 6.4 percent while cutting

GDP growth forecasts for the year of most other countries in

Southeast Asia.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change on day

Market Current Prev Close Pct Move

Singapore 3413.26 3410.13 +0.09

Kuala Lumpur 1814.04 1795.85 +1.01

Bangkok 1514.45 1520.01 -0.37

Jakarta 5447.65 5437.10 +0.19

Manila 7828.94 7840.49 -0.15

Ho Chi Minh 567.43 570.89 -0.61

Change on year

Market Current End 2014 Pct Move

Singapore 3413.26 3365.15 +1.43

Kuala Lumpur 1814.04 1761.25 +3.00

Bangkok 1514.45 1497.67 +1.12

Jakarta 5447.65 5226.95 +4.22

Manila 7828.94 7230.57 +8.28

Ho Chi Minh 567.43 545.63 +4.00

(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)