Thai index hits highest close in over 2 decades

JAKARTA: Thai shares continued their winning streak for a ninth session and closed at their highest in nearly 24 years on Tuesday, while other Southeast Asian stock markets edged up, tracking broader Asia.
The Thai index gained 0.4 percent and closed at 1,643.55, its highest since January 1994. Gains in convenience store operator CP All Pcl and retailer Home Product
Center Pcl boosted the index.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan  rose as much as 0.4 percent to their highest since December 2007, drawing confidence from strong overnight gains on Wall Street.
Investors are awaiting the China retail sales data and the industrial production data due this week, said Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital.
"U.S. CPI data is also due Thursday, so the markets may be waiting for any cues following last week's volatility," he added.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been weighing on Asian equities.
 The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear test earlier this month, imposing a ban on the country's textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.
Malaysian shares rose 0.4 percent to close at their highest since June 16, supported by a 3.5 percent rise in natural gas company Petronas Gas Bhd.
Singapore shares ended 0.2 percent higher after data showed the city-state's retail sales in July rose 1.8 percent from a year earlier, helped by growth in sales at petrol service stations.  
Top bank Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp led the gains on the index with a 0.9 percent rise, while Singapore Airlines Ltd climbed 2.2 percent. Vietnam shares finished 0.3 percent higher, while the Philippine market was closed as authorities suspended financial trading on account of floods.