SE Asia Stocks - Malaysia up on policy hopes; Indonesia cement shares fall

lunes 19 de enero de 2015 05:25 GYT

BANGKOK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock
markets were flat to higher on Monday, with Malaysian index
hitting a two-week high a day before the government's
announcement of policy changes, but Indonesian cement shares
fell after a cut in cement prices.
    Prime Minister Najib Razak will announce policy changes,
including likely budget revisions, on Tuesday to help Malaysia
adjust to the impact of reduced oil and gas earnings due to the
slump in global crude prices. 
    Shares in oil and gas firm Sapurakencana Petroleum Bhd
 jumped 5.2 percent to a more than two-week high, the
biggest percentage gainer on Malaysia's stock index. The
index rose 0.6 percent to 1,753.31, the highest since Jan. 5.
    Hopes about global monetary easing lifted broad regional
sentiment, brokers said, citing the European Central Bank
meeting on Thursday considered almost certain launch a
government bond-buying campaign in a bid to fight off deflation.
    Expectations of a likely delay of U.S. interest rate hike
after U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in six
years in December favourable for the outlook of regional
inflows, brokers said. 
    "Overall, the macro backdrops remain supportive to equity
markets, at least this week," it said in a report.
    Bangkok's SET index gained 1 percent to 1,532.71,
erasing last week's 0.8 percent fall. Broker KGI advised traders
to trading buy shares, with the SET index target for this month
seen at 1,565.
    Singapore's index was up 0.2 percent after Friday's
fall to an over one-week closing low and Indonesia's index
 was a tad lower, erasing early gains and after Friday's
a near 4-week low.
    Shares of cement firms fell after Indonesian President Joko
Widodo said last Friday that state-run cement producers should
reduce prices by 3,000 rupiah per bag to make the construction
material more affordable, local media reported. 
    Broker Bahana Securities cut its rating on cement sector to
    "On the index, while we remain positive on the market,
policy risks remain on the forefront of things. Point in case
would be Jokowi's announcement on lower cement prices by SOE
companies which spells bad news for cement sector," said Harry
Su, head of research of Bahana.
    Shares of Indonesia's biggest cement producer PT Semen
Indonesia Tbk dropped 5.7 percent, the biggest
percentage loser on the 45 large cap index, and shares
of PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa were down 2 percent.

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 Change at 0857 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3307.01       3300.68       +0.19
 Kuala Lumpur       1753.31       1743.57       +0.56
 Bangkok            1532.71       1517.74       +0.99
 Jakarta            5145.41       5148.38       -0.06
 Manila             7485.32       7490.88       -0.07
 Ho Chi Minh         571.51        574.81       -0.57
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by xxxx)