SE Asia Stocks - Malaysia hits record high; Indonesia down on political move
May 19 (Reuters) - Malaysian shares hit a record high on Monday, helped by foreign inflows after the country's economic growth came in above expectations in the first quarter, but Indonesia retreated due to a surprise political move by the country's second largest party. Malaysia's stock index hit a record high of 1,889.47 in intraday trade and ended at an all-time closing high of 1,887.07, surpassing the previous peak close of 1,883.34 hit on Friday. Kuala Lumpur enjoyed foreign inflows of $70.37 million on Monday, as investors snapped up risky assets after the country's annual economic growth showed a pickup in the first quarter to its fastest in more than a year. However, Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) shares fell 18.4 percent to a record low on Monday, its second day of sharp declines. The airline said on Thursday that a sharp drop in passenger traffic was likely to prevent it from returning to profit this year. Jakarta's Composite Index closed 0.3 percent weaker, surrendering an early gain of 1 percent, after the country's second largest party, Golkar, said it would support former general Prabowo Subianto in July's presidential election. Many had expected Golkar to support front-runner Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The market traded higher earlier after Jokowi named Golkar senior party official and former vice president Jusuf Kalla as his running mate. With the deadline for filing nominations close, investors were cautious, watching each move of the political parties, said John Teja, director of Jakarta-based broker Ciptadana Securities. Other Southeast Asian markets traded slightly firmer despite the rest of Asia being led down by China on concerns of slower growth in the world's second-biggest economy. Thailand's SET index rose 0.4 percent to its highest close since May 2 with $16.73 million in foreign inflows despite data showing the country's economy shrank more than expected as exports remained weak and domestic activity was battered by months of political unrest. Philippines outperformed the region with 0.8 percent gain, while Singapore ended steady. Vietnam recovered from early losses to close 0.7 percent firmer on foreign buying. 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* 425.93 423.90 +0.48 Singapore 3262.43 3262.59 0.00 Kuala Lumpur 1887.07 1883.34 +0.20 Bangkok 1410.63 1405.26 +0.38 Jakarta 5015.00 5031.57 -0.33 Manila 6870.90 6817.71 +0.78 Ho Chi Minh 533.04 529.49 +0.67 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 425.93 388.37 +9.67 Singapore 3262.43 3167.43 +3.00 Kuala Lumpur 1887.07 1866.96 +1.08 Bangkok 1410.63 1298.71 +8.62 Jakarta 5015.00 4274.18 +17.33 Manila 6870.90 5889.83 +16.66 Ho Chi Minh 533.04 504.63 +5.63 * 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 = 3.2340 Malaysian Ringgits) ($1 = 32.5100 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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