Business

Indonesia retreats as cabinet formation in focus

Southeast Asian stock markets were rangebound on Tuesday, with Singapore eking out further gains amid selective buying in a reporting season while Indonesia retreated from a near three-week closing high as investors awaited cabinet formation.

Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.3%, building on the rise over the past two sessions.

Shares of Keppel Corporation and Singapore Exchange rose ahead of a quarterly results expected later in the day.

Traders expect trading to remain muted during the day before a market holiday on Wednesday.

Jakarta's composite index eased 0.3%, with selling in recent gainers such as Astra International and Bank Mandiri.

The index rose on Monday when former Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia's seventh president at a ceremony in parliament, with his jobs including a cutback in fuel subsidies.

"With Jokowi's inauguration done without a hitch, market will now focus on cabinet, which should be announced this week," said broker Trimegah Securities in a report.

Stocks in Malaysia edged lower ahead of a market holiday on Wednesday while Thailand fell after early gains.

The Philippines was up 0.3% and Vietnam rose 1.1%.

Asian shares were nearly flat as modest relief on data showing the Chinese economy grew slightly more than expected was replaced by lingering concerns of weakening momentum in the world's second-biggest economy. – Reuters, October 21, 2014.

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