SE Asia Stocks -Indonesia at record high after rate cut; most others up ahead of holidays

miércoles 18 de febrero de 2015 03:29 GYT

BANGKOK, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The Indonesian key stock index
rallied to a record high on Wednesday amid optimism about the
domestic economy after an unexpected rate cut by the central
bank, while Malaysian shares snapped three days of gains in a
shortened trading session.
    The Jakarta composite index was up about 1 percent
at 5,393.27, after climbing to an all-time high of 5,415.38.
    Interest rate sensitive stocks led the gains, boosted by
foreign-led buying, Thomson Reuters data showed. Bank Rakyat
Indonesia jumped 3.3 percent and Bank Mandiri
 advanced 2.6 percent, both hitting record highs.
    Indonesia's central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark
interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent after market
close on Tuesday. 
    The move officially ended Bank Indonesia's tight-bias cycle
which started in May 2013, while lower interest rates boded well
for domestic demand, broker Bahana Securities wrote in a report.
It upgraded its estimate for 2015 GDP growth to 5.45 percent
from 5.30 percent.
    "While surprising, we applaud BI's looser monetary policy,
which we think indicates its efforts to support President
Jokowi's expansive fiscal policy this year, particularly given
expectations of subdued inflation on lower global oil prices,"
Bahana said.
    Kuala Lumpur composite index ended the day down 0.1
percent amid weaknesses in financial shares. RHB Capital
 dropped 2.8 percent, the worst performer on the index,
and Public Bank fell 1.3 percent, the third worst.
    Data showed annual inflation in Malaysia fell to a more than
five-year low of 1.0 percent in January as oil prices skidded,
but economists do not expect the central bank to follow others
and respond by cutting interest rates. 
    Other Southeast Asian stock markets traded in positive
territory while Asian shares rose amid signs
Greek banks will continue to receive emergency funding despite a
breakdown in debt talks between Athens and euro zone finance
    The Thai SET index was up 0.7 percent, bouncing off
Tuesday's more than two-week closing-low.
    Shares of retailer CP All rose 0.6 percent, their
first gain in four days, after the company reported a 23 percent
rise in quarterly earnings and said it planned to open new
stores in 2015. 
    Singapore shares finished the day 0.6 percent
higher, rebounding from a fall on Tuesday. Both Singapore and
Malaysia traded for half a day and will remain closed through
Friday for the Lunar New Year holidays.
    Indonesia and the Philippines will be shut on
Thursday, while Vietnam will remain closed through Feb.
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 Change at 0640 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3435.66       3415.91       +0.58
 Kuala Lumpur       1807.87       1810.09       -0.12
 Bangkok            1598.54       1587.75       +0.68
 Jakarta            5393.27       5337.50       +1.04
 Manila             7827.33       7793.40       +0.44
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)