SE Asia Stocks -Indonesia at 7-wk peak ahead of elections; Malaysia at record high
BANGKOK, July 8 (Reuters) - Indonesia's benchmark scaled a seven-week high on Tuesday on foreign inflows ahead of Wednesday's elections while the Malaysian index hit an all-time high intra-day as the ringgit rose on expectations of a policy rate hike this week. A rally in shares of Bank Rakyat and Bank Negara Indonesia amid foreign-led buying brought Jakarta's composite index to 5,050.56, its highest since May 19, according to Thomson Reuters data. Indonesia's presidential election could be the last chance for old-style politicians to lead what is one of the world's biggest democracies, and one of its youngest. "Market has started pricing in the probability of Jokowi winning the election and we expect it would continue strengthening," broker Trimegah Securities said. The Indonesian rupiah advanced, but pared most of its gains because of growing uncertainty over the presidential election with some opinion polls showing the race now too close to call. Kuala Lumpur's composite index was up 0.03 percent at 1,893.14, having touched a record high of 1,896.23 intra-day. The ringgit rose to its highest in more than seven months on Tuesday. Malaysia's central bank is expected to raise its key interest rate to 3.25 percent at a policy meeting on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed. Banking stocks such as Hong Leong Bank and Malayan Banking led among gainers. The Thai index earlier hit an intraday high of 1,512.57, a near one-year high, led by banks as the sector is due to report quarterly results from next week. Siam Commercial Bank and Krung Thai Bank led among gainers. Other markets eased as Asian stocks tracked sideways, with Singapore reversing Monday's rise, while the Philippines fell after a three-day rally and Vietnam slid on profit-taking. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0203 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 437.38 435.97 +0.32 Singapore 3284.88 3291.57 -0.21 Kuala Lumpur 1893.14 1892.50 +0.03 Bangkok 1510.93 1503.21 +0.51 Jakarta 5022.94 4989.03 +0.71 Manila 6946.35 6999.10 -0.75 Ho Chi Minh 590.73 590.69 +0.01 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Kaweewit Kaewjinda; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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