SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Indonesia retreats ahead of rate decision
BANGKOK, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday as improved global risk sentiment lured buyers back, but stocks in Indonesia gave up early gains a day ahead of the central bank's interest rate decision. Jakarta's composite index was down 0.2 percent, erasing modest early gains. Shares of Bank Mandiri, among those actively traded, eased 0.3 percent, reversing its gains from the day before. Indonesia's central bank is expected to cut its benchmark reference rate by 25 basis points to 7 percent on Thursday, the second time this year, in a bid to lift economic growth, a Reuters poll showed. The Thai SET index was up 0.5 percent, trimming some early gains amid technical-led selling near the key 1,300 resistance. The index is expected to move in a range of 1,280-1,300 for the day, said Maybank Kim Eng Securities. "With a neutral-positive economic outlook, we expect foreign capital will return to the Thai markets," the broker said in a report. A combination of stabilising Chinese markets, a rebound in oil prices and solid U.S. consumption data lifted Asia, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up about 1 percent. Singapore was among the outperformers, with the key Straits Times Index climbing 1.1 percent after a near-3 percent rally on Monday, the biggest in more than four years. The Philippines advanced 1.1 percent, touching its highest since Jan. 7, and Malaysia extended gains from the previous session while Vietnam rebounded after Monday's weakness. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0447 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2636.53 2607.9 1.10 Bangkok 1294.44 1288.4 0.47 Manila 6768.66 6692.58 1.14 Jakarta 4729.361 4740.726 -0.24 Kuala Lumpur 1661.64 1649.96 0.71 Ho Chi Minh 546.37 543.79 0.47 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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