U.S. Markets closed

SE Asia Stocks-Most indexes up; Thai SET breaks below 1,300 amid turmoil

BANGKOK, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Thai stocks underperformed in

Southeast Asia on Friday as investors dumped shares on the final

trading day of the year amid mounting political uncertainty and

a proposed delay in February elections which the government has

rejected.

Other share markets rose in a thin market, with Asian shares

notching up gains after another powerful performance by Wall

Street. Shares in Malaysia led the pack, with the key index

climbing 0.9 percent to 1,859.91, a record high.

Thai benchmark SET index shed 1.3 percent by midday

to 1291.34, sliding at one point to 1,288.02, the lowest since

Aug. 30. Shares of mall operator Central Pattana Pcl

and hotelier Minor International Pcl were among

losers.

Trading volumes on the Thai stock market dropped off as

investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a five-day weekend.

The market will reopen on Dec. 2.

The index is poised to end the year 7.23 percent lower,

underperforming its regional peers and the third-worst performer

in Asia. It rallied 35.8 percent last year, Southeast Asia's

best performer.

Brokers said the political conflicts pointed to near-term

weakness.

"We believe the overhang will persist in January given a

significantly different stance between the government and

protesters," strategists of broker KGI Securities wrote in a

report.

The baht traded in 32.76-32.82 range against the

dollar so far on the day, in sight of the weakest level since

March 2010, amid a drop in factory output in November.

Stocks in Singapore rose 0.5 percent to their

highest in more than three weeks, while Indonesia was up

0.4 percent on resuming trade after holidays. Vietnam

rose 0.56 percent due to gains in blue chips.

Philippine shares edged up 0.5 percent, on track for

a slim gain of 1.6 percent for 2013, after a nearly 33 percent

surge in 2012. The Philippines is heading for a five-day

weekend, resuming on Dec. 2.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change at 0549 GMT

Market Current Prev Close Pct Move

TR SE Asia Index* 384.91 384.64 +0.07

Singapore 3151.80 3134.36 +0.56

Kuala Lumpur 1859.91 1844.10 +0.86

Bangkok 1291.34 1308.46 -1.31

Jakarta 4218.20 4202.83 +0.37

Manila 5903.27 5878.32 +0.42

Ho Chi Minh 509.40 506.55 +0.56