SE Asia Stocks-Most indexes higher on earnings hopes
SINGAPORE, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly rose on Thursday as investors bought shares on expectations of strong corporate earnings, while Singapore's Keppel Corp fell after weak quarterly results. Gains in some heavyweight banking stocks such as Indonesia's Bank Central Asia helped push up the Jakarta's Composite Index. Trading was rangebound ahead of a public holiday on Friday. In Bangkok, shares of Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank were among outperformers on the benchmark SET index . Brokers said technical indicators were positive after the SET index passed a key 1,400 mark, the level last hit since November, with hopes about the U.S. economy bolstering sentiment. "Another driver for risk assets was the speech by Fed Chair Yellen that the Fed will continue to support the U.S. economy," strategists at broker KGI Securities wrote in a report. Asian share markets eked out gains on Thursday as dovish comments from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve combined with an upbeat economic assessment from the central bank to lift Wall Street for a third straight session. In Singapore, the key Straits Times Index pared early gains after a weaker-than-expected non-oil exports for March while investors were content to stay on the sidelines ahead of a three-day weekend, starting Friday. Among actively traded, shares of Keppel Corp shed about 2 percent after it posted a 5 percent decrease in net profit for the first quarter. Philippine stock market was shut for a market holiday, reopening on Monday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0659 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 420.50 419.46 +0.25 Singapore 3252.06 3253.20 -0.03 Kuala Lumpur 1849.07 1845.37 +0.20 Bangkok 1405.77 1401.84 +0.28 Jakarta 4889.33 4873.01 +0.34 Ho Chi Minh 578.85 574.29 +0.79 (Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Anand Basu)
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