SE Asia Stocks - Indonesia off highs; eyes on election outcome
BANGKOK, July 10 (Reuters) - Indonesia's benchmark index touched an over-13-month high on Thursday as hopes of a potential election win for Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo boosted hopes of a push for economic reforms, but uncertainty kept the rally in check. Other sharemarkets mostly gained after the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated it was in no rush to begin raising interest rates. Jokowi and ex-general Prabowo Subianto have both declared themselves the winner based on contradictory "quick count" results in the closest presidential election ever in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Fund managers and analysts said a Jokowi victory was expected to be good for the economy. "While both presidential candidates have similar agendas, Jokowi is widely perceived to be more market-friendly and open to foreign investment," said Gillian Kwek, portfolio manager of Fidelity's FF ASEAN Fund. The benchmark Jakarta's composite index rose as much as 2.8 percent in early trade to 5,024.71, the highest since May 31 last year. It was up 1.4 percent at 0733 GMT. The rupiah hit a seven-week high but pared some gains. Broker Ciptadana Securities advised investors to buy property shares as Jokowi may ease the foreign-ownership ban on Indonesian property. Shares of Ciputra Development jumped 5.8 percent, among the top percentage gainers. Foreign inflows sent shares of large-caps 2 percent higher, with Bank Mandiri and Astra International among those actively traded. Elsewhere, Thai shares hovered around a near one-year high of 1,517.35, after 10 consecutive days of gains amid foreign inflows. Shares of industrial conglomerate Siam Cement and Airports of Thailand were among the outperformers. The Thai market will be closed on Friday for a public holiday and will reopen on Monday. "Amid the continuing positive momentum, the SET could test 1,520 in the near term as foreign investors increasingly buy the Thai market," broker Krungsri Securities said. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0733 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 440.03 437.74 +0.52 Singapore 3281.28 3275.46 +0.18 Kuala Lumpur 1891.00 1891.16 -0.01 Bangkok 1516.89 1507.92 +0.59 Jakarta 5093.63 5024.71 +1.37 Manila 6937.21 6903.79 +0.48 Ho Chi Minh 585.95 591.60 -0.96 * 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 Viparat Jantraprap and Kaweewit Kaewjinda; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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