Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, recovering from recent losses as investors moved past issues about North Korea and looked for triggers from local markets. Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.9 percent in their biggest intraday percentage gain since March-end and were headed for their first gain in three sessions on the back of gains in financial and telecom stocks. Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Mandiri gained 3.8 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. The Jakarta SE Composite index shed 0.7 percent in the previous session as geopolitical concerns overshadowed higher-than-expected Mach exports data.
“This (trade data) probably could be one of the catalysts for the positive sentiment in the market today,” said Arief Budiman of Jakarta-based Ciptadana Securities.
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Jakarta is to hold the second round of gubernatorial elections on April 19 which sees the incumbent Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and his Muslim opponent neck and neck in the race to lead Indonesia’s capital. The election campaign – which has been among the most divisive in the city’s history – has been marred by religious and ethnic tension over the blasphemy trial of Purnama, who is accused of insulting Islam.
“While likely a local event, a loss for incumbent governor Ahok may prove negative for the market sentiment,” Nomura said in a note.
Thai shares saw broad-based gains and were 0.4 percent higher with material, consumer, and financial stocks rising the most. PTT Exploration and Production, however, was the biggest net gainer on the index, up 1.8 percent.
Singapore shares snapped two sessions of falls to trade slightly higher, helped by industrials and consumer stocks.
Malaysian shares rose for a second straight session, while Vietnam was headed for a fifth straight session of falls, after having declined 2.8 percent in the previous four sessions.
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Additional reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)