BANGKOK, March 24 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks eked out
small gains on Tuesday amid a rise in the rupiah and
selective buying in large-caps while other Southeast Asian stock
markets were flat-to-weaker after a measure of Chinese factory
activity came weaker than expected.
Jakarta's composite index ended the day 0.2 percent
higher after two straight days of modest falls. Banking shares
were among those actively traded, led by Bank Rakyat Indonesia
and Bank Negara Indonesia.
The rupiah rose to its highest in more than two weeks amid
uncertainty over the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes and
after Indonesia's finance minister said he would work with the
central bank to strengthen the
Broker Bahana Securities cut its rating on the market to
neutral, with a end-year target of 5,550, and continued to
recommend clients to adopt a more defensive strategy in consumer
staples and telecoms.
"While sentiment on the IDR has somewhat improved, the
central bank's decision on its interest rate policy in the lead
up to the upcoming Fed rate hike will remain a crucial
determinant for both the equity and currency markets," Bahana
Securities' head of research Harry Su said.
Singapore stocks ended little changed for a second
straight day, Thai stocks fell for a third day and
Vietnam was down 0.6 percent, its second straight loss.
Malaysia rose 1 percent, its first in three days.
The Philippines was down 0.2 percent on the day. It
is still up 8.3 percent on the year and is Southeast Asia's best
performer, thanks to its economic outperformance.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintained its 2015 GDP
growth forecast for the Philippines at 6.4 percent while cutting
GDP growth forecasts for the year of most other countries in
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on day
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
Singapore 3413.26 3410.13 +0.09
Kuala Lumpur 1814.04 1795.85 +1.01
Bangkok 1514.45 1520.01 -0.37
Jakarta 5447.65 5437.10 +0.19
Manila 7828.94 7840.49 -0.15
Ho Chi Minh 567.43 570.89 -0.61
Change on year
Market Current End 2014 Pct Move
Singapore 3413.26 3365.15 +1.43
Kuala Lumpur 1814.04 1761.25 +3.00
Bangkok 1514.45 1497.67 +1.12
Jakarta 5447.65 5226.95 +4.22
Manila 7828.94 7230.57 +8.28
Ho Chi Minh 567.43 545.63 +4.00
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)