#SE Asia Stocks* Thai shares at 9-month high on bright economic outlook

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BANGKOK (June 30): The Thai index hit a nine-month high on Monday, marking its best quarter in more than a year, as a positive economic outlook lifted appetite for risk assets, while Indonesian shares rose modestly on the quarter in the run-up to the July presidential election. Thailand's central bank signalled on Monday that Southeast Asia's second-largest economy would avoid a recession this quarter and said manufacturing and consumption had "started to show signs of recovery" in May. Active buying was seen in large-cap energy and bank shares led by top energy firm PTT and leading lender Bangkok Bank, with positive economic prospects supportive to earnings outlooks. Foreign investors bought shares for a second session, adding a net 2.4 billion baht ($74 million), after Friday's net purchase of 1.9 billion baht ($58.55 million), Thomson Reuters data showed. Bangkok's SET index closed up 0.2 percent on the day, notching up a gain of nearly 8 percent on the quarter, making it Southeast Asia's best performer. Jakarta's composite index climbed almost 1 percent to a near two-week high, with Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the third largest stock by market value, and Telkom Indonesia, the fourth biggest, among those actively traded. The benchmark ended up 2.3 percent in the second quarter after a 11.6 percent rally in the first. The lack of clarity on next month's election has kept most investors on the sidelines, broker Danaseksa said in a report. "Overall, investors may prefer to add to their positions once confirmation of Jokowi's victory is known, rather than taking the risk of accumulating now despite the market's recent weakness," the broker said. Major markets in Southeast Asia had a positive quarter, with the Philippines up 6.5 percent, Singapore 2.1  percent higher and Malaysia adding 1.8 percent, but Vietnam fell 2.3 percent, its first in four quarters.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move TR SE Asia Index*   427.76        426.16       +0.37 Singapore          3255.67       3271.05       -0.47 Kuala Lumpur       1882.71       1880.93       +0.09 Bangkok            1485.75       1483.24       +0.17 Jakarta            4878.58       4845.13       +0.69 Manila             6844.31       6842.15       +0.03 Ho Chi Minh         578.13        578.82       -0.12 Change on year Market             Current       End 2013    Pct Move TR SE Asia Index*   427.76        388.37      +10.14 Singapore          3255.67       3167.43       +2.79 Kuala Lumpur       1882.71       1866.96       +0.84 Bangkok            1485.75       1298.71      +14.40 Jakarta            4878.58       4274.18      +14.14 Manila             6844.31       5889.83      +16.21 Ho Chi Minh         578.13        504.63      +14.57 * 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 = 32.45 baht)