By Rushil Dutta
April 21 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Friday, tracking gains across Asia as investors took heart from
a Wall Street rally on bets of strong earnings and tax reform in
the United States.
Sentiment was also helped by a recovery in commodity prices.
Iron ore and steel futures in China jumped, while Shanghai base
metals rose on the back of robust gains in overnight London
trading and buoyant equity markets.
Crude oil traded steady, but was set for its biggest weekly
drop in about a month.
There was a moderate bid against risky assets, supported by
oil price movements and as French elections seemed more
predictable, said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset
French centrist Emmanuel Macron is set to come out on top in
the first round of France's presidential election on Sunday as
far right leader Marine Le Pen fell further behind him, a poll
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday launched
a trade probe against China and other exporters of cheap steel
into the U.S. market, raising the possibility of new tariffs.
But shares of most Asian steelmakers rose, deflecting the
first salvo of the long-anticipated anti-dumping campaign.
Asian shares excluding Japan rose 0.6
percent, heading for a second straight session of gains.
Indonesian shares rose 0.6 percent, helped by gains
in consumer and telecom stocks. Conglomerate Astra International
Tbk PT was 2.6 percent higher.
The central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged on
Thursday for the sixth straight meeting, saying the current
level was consistent with its efforts to maintain stability.
Malaysian shares gained 0.6 percent with consumer
and financial stocks leading near broad-based gains.
Malayan Banking and CIMB Group Holdings
were up about 2 percent each.
Singapore shares rose 0.5 percent with oil and gas
stocks bouncing back, while Thai stocks climbed 0.3
percent, helped by basic materials.
Thai petrochemical producer Indorama Ventures Pcl
climbed 0.7 percent.
For the week, most Southeast Asian stock markets were down.
For Asian Companies click;
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0535 GMT
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3153.47 3137.88 0.50
Bangkok 1571.29 1566.28 0.32
Manila 7590.92 7563.45 0.36
Jakarta 5630.891 5595.306 0.64
Kuala Lumpur 1751.86 1741.61 0.59
Ho Chi Minh 714.83 712.66 0.30
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3153.47 2880.76 9.47
Bangkok 1571.29 1542.94 1.84
Manila 7590.92 6840.64 11.00
Jakarta 5630.891 5296.711 6.31
Kuala Lumpur 1751.86 1641.73 6.71
Ho Chi Minh 714.83 664.87 7.50
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)