* Indonesia set for third straight session of gains
* Singapore falls as Dec exports shrink
By Shreya Mariam Job
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday with Indonesia leading gains ahead of its central
bank's policy meet, while Singapore shares declined following a
fall in the country's non-oil exports.
Indonesian index rose 0.6 percent ahead of the
policy rate decisions of the central bank at its first policy
meeting for the year 2019.
A Reuters poll of 20 economists predict Bank Indonesia to
maintain its 7-day reverse repurchase rate at 6.00
percent. The rate was raised six times between May and November
in the previous year in an effort to shore up the Rupiah
"We suspect that Bank Indonesia (BI) will be able to keep
rates on hold through the rest of the year, supporting fixed
income assets. There are some early signs that liquidity is
improving," according to a DBS Bank note.
Indonesia's central bank on Wednesday also said it expects
2019 economic growth of the country at 5.2 percent and that the
key policy rate has neared its peak.
Financial and energy stocks drove the index with shares of
Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT gaining 2.2 percent and
those of United tractors Tbk PT rose 3.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Singapore's benchmark index pared some of
its early losses after falling as much as 0.4 percent, due to
the worst fall in the country's December exports in two years.
December non-oil exports shrank unexpectedly by 8.5 percent,
compared with a 1.5 percent rise predicted by a Reuters poll.
Losses were concentrated in technology and consumer
non-cyclical stocks, with Thai Beverage PCL's counter
shedding 1.4 percent and that of Venture Corporation Ltd
dipping 2.6 percent.
Meanwhile, other southeast Asian stock markets were
positive, as worries over trade tensions and China's economic
growth took a back seat, widening investors' risk appetite.
The Philippine benchmark rose 0.6 percent, buoyed by
real estate and telecommunication stocks. Shares of Ayala Land
Inc rose 2.6 percent, while those of Jollibee Foods
Corp gained 2.4 percent.
The Malaysian index climbed 0.4 percent, helped by
consumer cyclical and energy stocks. Shares of Petronas
Chemicals Group Bhd rose 0.9 percent, while those of
Genting Bhd firmed 2.8 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0401 GMT
Change on the day
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3222.63 3229.11 -0.20
Bangkok 1582.13 1577.41 0.30
Manila 7912.6 7864.7 0.61
Jakarta 6451.191 6413.36 0.59
Kuala Lumpur 1678.89 1673.08 0.35
Ho Chi Minh 907.12 908.7 -0.17
Change so far in 2019
Market Current End 2018 Pct Move
Singapore 3222.63 3068.76 5.01
Bangkok 1582.13 1563.88 1.17
Manila 7912.6 7,466.02 5.98
Jakarta 6451.191 6,194.50 4.14
Kuala Lumpur 1678.89 1690.58 -0.69
Ho Chi Minh 907.12 892.54 1.63
(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi