Philippine shares lead regional gain on week

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BANGKOK (Sept 5): Philippine stocks hit a 15-month high on Friday, posting their best weekly gain in five months on selective buying in financial shares, while the Thai index rose to near a psychological mark of 1,600, helped by some buying in construction and bank shares.

The Philippine main index rose almost 1 percent to 7,263.58, its highest close since May 24, 2013. It rose 3 percent on the week, the biggest gain since the week ended April 4, and was the best performer in Southeast Asia.

Actively-traded stocks included shares of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metropolitan Bank & Trust.

Investors looked forward to possible interest rate hikes at  the Philippine central bank's meeting next week after data early on Friday showed an acceleration in August inflation.

The Thai SET index edged up 0.3 percent, rebounding from a modest fall on Thursday and closing at 1,584.32, a level last hit on May 29, 2013. It extended its gains for a fifth straight week, adding 1.5 percent.

Shares seen as reaping the benefits of local economic recovery led the gainers, including cement maker TPI Polene, which jumped 6.2 percent and Siam Commercial Bank, which climbed 1.3 percent.

All the bourses in the region ended the week higher, with Indonesia up 1.6 percent while Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam rose modestly.

Change on day
Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index*   447.37        446.79       +0.13
Singapore          3341.73       3346.34       -0.14
Kuala Lumpur       1868.46       1869.21       -0.04
Bangkok            1584.32       1579.73       +0.29
Jakarta            5217.33       5205.32       +0.23
Manila             7263.58       7204.11       +0.83
Ho Chi Minh         638.65        640.22       -0.25

Change on year
Market             Current       End 2013    Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index*   447.37        388.37      +15.19
Singapore          3341.73       3167.43       +5.49
Kuala Lumpur       1868.46       1866.96       +0.08
Bangkok            1584.32       1298.71      +21.99
Jakarta            5217.33       4274.18      +22.07
Manila             7263.58       5889.83      +23.32
Ho Chi Minh         638.65        504.63      +26.87

* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

(1 US dollar = 43.6200 Philippine peso)