April 20, 2017 / 5:43 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Bide time; eyes on French elections

    April 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
posted small gains on Thursday as investors remained on the
sidelines for a lack of economic cues while uncertainties around
the French elections over the weekend kept global risk appetite
    The sense of caution was exacerbated by weakness on Wall
Street and overnight decline in commodity prices, especially
    Several energy stocks in Southeast Asia had declined in the
previous session as crude oil fell to a two-week low. Oil prices
regained some lost ground on Thursday with a slight drop in U.S.
crude inventories stoking hopes that a global supply overhang
might slowly retreat.
    Asian stocks excluding Japan rose 0.2
percent on bargain hunting after falling 0.5 percent in early
trades. The index lost nearly 2 percent in the last four
    The French presidential elections will be closely watched as
the stakes for investors are high, with two anti-EU, anti-euro
candidates among the four seen still in contention to make it to
a second round two weeks after Sunday's ballot.

    Singapore shares rose 0.2 percent, helped by
industrials and financials, while oil and gas and telecom stocks
remained weak.
    Jardine Matheson Holdings recovered from the
previous day's losses to gain 1.3 percent.
    Oil rig builder Keppel Corp fell 1.5 percent,
while Sembcorp Industries declined as much as 1.6
percent to its lowest since early January.
    Indonesian shares see-sawed after resuming trade
following a holiday on Wednesday for gubernatorial elections in
    Polls showed that incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja
Purnama, seen by some analysts as foreign investor-friendly, had
lost his bid for re-election by a big margin.
    The Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.26 percent.
    Investors will also look out for the central bank meeting
later in the day, where it is widely expected to keep its
benchmark interest rate steady, according to a Reuters
    Thai shares edged up, led by industrials with
Airports of Thailand up nearly 2 percent.
    However, Vietnam shares were 0.5 percent lower.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market                   Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore                3133.34   3126.28         0.23
 Bangkok                  1571.63   1567.19         0.28
 Manila                   7528.27   7522.98         0.07
 Jakarta                  5600.832  5606.517        -0.10
 Kuala Lumpur             1741.29   1738.95         0.13
 Ho Chi Minh              713.34    716.77          -0.48
 Change on year                                     
 Market                   Current   End 2016        Pct Move
 Singapore                3133.34   2880.76         8.77
 Bangkok                  1571.63   1542.94         1.86
 Manila                   7528.27   6840.64         10.1
 Jakarta                  5600.832  5296.711        5.74
 Kuala Lumpur             1741.29   1641.73         6.06
 Ho Chi Minh              713.34    664.87          7.30 
 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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