* Signs of recovery in China's economy buoys sentiment
* Malaysia hits over two-year closing low
* Vietnam posts third consecutive loss
By Shreya Mariam Job
April 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
closed higher on Wednesday, with Thailand leading gains, after
China's steadying first-quarter growth spurred hopes of recovery
amid concerns regarding the health of the global economy.
China's economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the
first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as
industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed
signs of improvement.
"Today's data provides further evidence that growth has
bottomed. We expect further recovery in activity data in the
coming months and see full year growth at 6.6 percent," said
Julia Wang, a Greater China economist at HSBC.
The Thai benchmark led gains in the region with
broad-based jump across sectors. Shares of PTT PCL rose
1.6 percent, while those of Energy Absolute PCL gained
Singapore stocks pared some of its earlier gains to
rise 0.5 percent to its highest close since June 15, backed by
financial and consumer stocks.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd gained 1.2 percent, while
Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd rose 4.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian bourse fell 0.5 percent to
its lowest close since Dec. 27, 2016, after FTSE flagged https://www.ftserussell.com/files/press-releases/ftse-russell-announces-results-first-fixed-income-country-classification-review
a possible exclusion of the country from its World Government
Bond Index at the end of a review period in September.
The risk of possible outflows from the country, which would
follow the exclusion from the index, dampened investor
Index heavyweights Malayan Banking Bhd and Tenaga
Nasional Bhd dropped 2.3 percent and 2 percent,
The Vietnam index posted its third consecutive loss
slipping 0.5 percent, with real estate stocks dragging the
Indonesian stock market was closed on account of
Early results from Indonesia's election on Wednesday showed
President Joko Widodo with a comfortable lead, in line with
opinion polls that had predicted the low-key reformist was
heading for a second five-year term.
"The incumbent being re-elected will be the most favourable
outcome for investors. New policy and measurement from Prabowo
Subianto may bring uncertainty in the early stage," said Toby
Wu, senior analyst at eToro.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3348.64 3332.04 0.50
Bangkok 1673.1 1660.45 0.76
Manila 7835.15 7826.46 0.11
Kuala Lumpur 1620.9 1629.46 -0.53
Ho Chi Minh 972.1 977.17 -0.52
Change so far in 2019
Market Current End 2018 Pct Move
Singapore 3348.64 3068.76 9.12
Bangkok 1673.1 1563.88 6.98
Manila 7835.15 7,466.02 4.94
Kuala Lumpur 1620.9 1690.58 -4.12
Ho Chi Minh 972.1 892.54 8.91
(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi