March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Thai stocks advanced, sending the benchmark index to a two-month high, after anti-government protesters removed blockades at four main intersections in central Bangkok.
The SET Index surged 1.1 percent to close at 1,339.21, its fifth day of gains and completing the longest rally since October. The gauge’s jump today is the most among Asian benchmark rivals. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.7 percent as tensions over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine intensified.
Demonstrators removed the blockades today to help alleviate the impact on businesses and commuters in the capital, Suthep Thaugsuban, a protest leader, said on Feb. 28. Global funds have pulled a net $1.07 billion from the nation’s stocks this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The move may help ease political risk, which will boost tourism-related stocks, according to Asset Plus Fund Management Co.
“Political confrontation has subsided substantially with the end of several main blockades in Bangkok’s business center,” Supongvorn Mianpoka, senior vice president at Asset Plus, which oversees about $850 million of assets, said by phone. “The tourism sector will be the biggest beneficiary.”
The baht was steady at 32.556 per dollar, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The yield on the 3.125 percent debt due December 2015 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 2.26 percent, the lowest since the bonds were sold in 2010.
Airports of Thailand Pcl, the nation’s biggest airport operator, rose 3.2 percent, its highest close since Nov. 21. Central Plaza Pcl surged 5 percent and Asia Aviation Pcl, which controls Thailand’s biggest budget airline, added 3.1 percent.
Traffic opened at those intersections after demonstrators disassembled their stages and obstacles, the police said on their website today.
Demonstrators have set up a new rally site at Lumpini park and will stage a rally against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration by pressuring some key ministries to stop working, according to Suthep.
At least 23 people have been killed since protests against Yingluck’s government began in late October, according to government data.
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