SE Asia Stocks - Most edge higher; Indonesia retreats after trade data
BANGKOK, July 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets posted modest gains on Wednesday, fretting over a slump in Chinese shares while stocks in Indonesia retreated on the country's narrower trade surplus. The Jakarta composite index eased 0.6 percent, retreating from a third straight day of gains to a one-week high on Tuesday. Top large cap losers included Bank Negara Indonesia and Astra International, each falling more than 2 percent. Indonesia's trade surplus narrowed to $477 million in June from a revised $1.08 billion in May. The surplus was Indonesia's seventh straight monthly surplus. Shares in Jakarta fell in light trading volume ahead of a long market holiday. Indonesian financial markets will be closed from July 16 to July 21 for the Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Markets will reopen for trading on July 22. Volume in Malaysia and Singapore each was about a third of a 30-day average. Malaysia's stock exchange will trade for a half day on Thursday before a market holiday on Friday. Singapore is closed on Friday for a market holiday. Asian stocks erased most of their gains on Wednesday and Chinese shares slumped despite upbeat economic data while investors continued to await other key events, including a Greek parliamentary vote on austerity measures. Bangkok's SET index hit a near two-week high led by shares of builders such as Italian Thai Development. The cabinet approved a construction plan for domestic motorway routes which lifted the outlook for the construction industry, brokers said. Brokers expected market gains to be short-lived as large sectors such as banks were expected to report weak quarterly results. "We see any rallies as a profit-taking opportunity. The market remains vulnerable to further downside risk posed by possible corporate earnings downgrades after the end of the second-quarter earnings season," said broker Phillip Securities. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0554 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3329.12 3316.50 +0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1724.27 1721.10 +0.18 Bangkok 1494.74 1488.40 +0.43 Jakarta 4870.88 4901.81 -0.63 Manila 7560.47 7538.76 +0.29 Ho Chi Minh 639.36 638.69 +0.10 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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