SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia at 3-week high; cbank holds rate as expected
BANGKOK, May 19 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares hit a three-week closing high on Tuesday after the central bank held policy interest rate steady as expected, with lending rules eased to boost economy, while the Thai key index ended near a three-week, led by large caps. Jakarta composite index ended the day up 0.6 percent at 5,269.37, the highest close since April 24. It traded little changed in early hours before the interest rate decision. Indonesia's central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 7.50 percent despite slowing economic growth. It said it would support economic growth by loosening some lending requirements for banks. Shares in Bank Rakyat Indonesia extended gains on the day to 2.3 percent, closing at the highest level in more than three weeks. Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia and Bank Central Asia all ended higher. The Thai SET index advanced 1.03 percent to 1,525.96, the highest close since April 30. Shares of PTT , PTT Global Chemical and Charoen Pokphand Foods were the top three most actively traded large caps by turnover. "Technical indicators pointed to buying signals today and we had domestic investors previously underowning shares entering the market," said senior strategist Viwat Techapoonphol at Tisco Securities. Shares in the region ended mixed, with Singapore falling for a second day, Malaysia retreating from Monday's near two-week closing high and the Philippines snapped a sixth-day winning streak. Vietnam rebounded 1.5 percent boosted by value-buying after two sessions of falls. 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 Singapore 3454.04 3459.57 -0.16 Kuala Lumpur 1809.72 1823.50 -0.76 Bangkok 1525.96 1510.41 +1.03 Jakarta 5269.37 5237.81 +0.60 Manila 7871.31 7910.43 -0.49 Ho Chi Minh 536.82 528.95 +1.49 Change on year Market Current End 2014 Pct Move Singapore 3454.04 3365.15 +2.64 Kuala Lumpur 1809.72 1761.25 +2.75 Bangkok 1525.96 1497.67 +1.89 Jakarta 5269.37 5226.95 +0.81 Manila 7871.31 7230.57 +8.86 Ho Chi Minh 536.82 545.63 -1.61 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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