Most Southeast Asia indexes higher on Chinese data

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks edged higher on Friday, poised for modest gains on the week, as investors piled into regional large caps after strong quarterly results, with solid Chinese data supporting sentiment across Asian stock markets.

Singapore-listed Keppel Corp, the builder of offshore oil rigs, rose about 1 per cent after it posted a 32 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit.

The key Straits Times Index edged up 0.3 per cent, on track for a weekly gain of 0.6 per cent, building on a 1.3 per cent rise on the previous week.

Stocks in Thailand and the Philippines outperformed, with Thai SET index gaining 0.9 per cent at midday and the Philippine main index adding 0.6 per cent, both climbing around 1.7 per cent week to date.

Shares in Bangkok Bank jumped 2.5 per cent after Thailand's largest lender by assets reported a 21 per cent rise in quarterly net profit, beating estimates.

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp were the top percentage gainer on the Philippine benchmark index, up 5.2 per cent, after a report that the conglomerate is set to distribute shares in its controlling shareholder Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc.

Indonesia was among weak spot, with Jakarta's composite index drifting slightly into negative territory, led by losses in the biggest firm Astra International due to weak outlook of auto sales next year.

Shares in coal miners, including Adaro Energy and Harum Energy, bucked the trend, with brokers citing a report involving stricter regulation on Chinese coal mines that could contract world coal supply.

"It appears that sentiment wise, this news has provided some positive share price boost towards the Indonesian listed coal companies," broker Bahana Securities said in a report.

The benchmark Indonesian index is set to end the week 0.2 per cent lower.