South-East Asia Stocks-End higher; Indonesia shares hits record high

By: | Published: April 3, 2017 4:31 PM

South-east Asian stocks ended in positive territory on Monday, with Indonesia hitting a record high on better-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended March.

Broader Asian markets were also off to a good second-quarter start, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.4 percent, by 0940 GMT.

South-east Asian stocks ended in positive territory on Monday, with Indonesia hitting a record high on better-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended March. Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.9 percent, hitting their highest level during the session, with consumer stocks accounting for nearly half the gains on the index.

The better-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended March are “providing support to the index,” said Harry Su, an analyst with Jakarta-based Bahana Securities. The country also saw its annual inflation rate easing to 3.61 percent in March, against expectations for it to stay steady near the previous month’s 3.83 percent. Conglomerate Astra International Tbk Pt rose 1.7 percent, while PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk ended 1.3 percent higher.

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Broader Asian markets were also off to a good second-quarter start, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.4 percent, by 0940 GMT. Markets in the region continued their rally in March after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled a gradual pace of monetary tightening at its March 14–15 meeting.

Investors are also looking out for U.S. payroll data due on Friday and U.S. President Donald Trump’s first meeting with counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday and Friday. Philippine shares finished 0.4 percent higher. Real estate stocks and financials led the gainers, with property developer SM Prime Holdings rising 1.41 percent, while Bank of the Philippine Islands closed up 2.3 percent. Thailand and Singapore closed up 0.4 percent each, while Vietnam ended flat.

(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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