SE Asia Stocks-Mostly firmer with inflows; Indonesia at 10-month high ahead of polls
April 7 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended firmer on Monday, led by Indonesian shares ahead of a parliamentary election later this week that is expected to restart stalled reforms, while a U.S. jobs report last week helped boost investor sentiment. The Jakarta Composite Index ended up 1.3 percent at its highest since June 5, 2013, led by infrastructure shares. The gain was led by a 2.6 percent gain in Astra International and 3.9 percent rise in Perusahaan Gas Negara Persero. Millions of Indonesians will vote to elect a new parliament on April 9 and a president three months later in a race that could bring major changes to the way the world's third-largest democracy is run, with the opposition PDI-P consistently topping opinion polls. The market has risen more than 15 percent so far this year as investors hope opposition candidate Joko Widodo, the favourite to win July's presidential poll, will restart stalled reforms, making the world's fourth most-populous nation a strong contender for more investment. Friday's U.S. jobs report was firm enough to soothe concerns about U.S. recovery, but still not so strong as to hasten the end of policy stimulus. The region's markets saw net foreign buying on Monday. Indonesia enjoyed a $139 million foreign inflow, Malaysia witnessed a $59.6 million inflow and the Philippines saw a $12.5 million net foreign buying. Philippines shares gained 0.8 percent to its highest close since Oct. 23, Vietnam gained 1.3 percent to a two-week closing high on solid corporate earnings and plans for dividend payments by the market's two largest firms. Malaysian shares ended 0.3 percent firmer. But Singapore stocks were 0.6 percent down, falling for a second straight session due to an overdue correction amid a lack of fresh positive factors. Thai market was closed on Monday for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 415.72 413.92 +0.43 Singapore 3193.59 3212.72 -0.60 Kuala Lumpur 1862.90 1856.61 +0.34 Jakarta 4921.04 4857.94 +1.30 Manila 6614.40 6561.20 +0.81 Ho Chi Minh 600.57 593.04 +1.27 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 415.72 388.37 +7.04 Singapore 3193.59 3167.43 +0.83 Kuala Lumpur 1862.90 1866.96 -0.22 Bangkok 1392.01 1298.71 +7.18 Jakarta 4921.04 4274.18 +15.13 Manila 6614.40 5889.83 +12.30 Ho Chi Minh 600.57 504.63 +19.01 * 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 = 11316.5000 Indonesian Rupiahs) ($1 = 3.2795 Malaysian Ringgits) ($1 = 44.9550 Philippine Pesos) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand Basu)
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