Business

SE Asia Stocks: Jakarta at record close; Manila, Bangkok flat

BANGKOK, Feb 12 — Indonesian shares hit a record on Tuesday after Bank Indonesia held its benchmark interest rate steady at a record low, while stocks in Thailand and the Philippines pared early gains to end flat amid a broader weakness in Asia and thin volumes.

Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and other major markets in Asia were shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.15 percent. Jakarta's Composite Index rose 1 per cent to 4,548.24, above Monday's record close of 4,503.25, with trading volume of 0.9 times the monthly average. With a year-to-date gain of 5.4 per cent, Jakarta still lagged others in the region.

Mining and property shares outperformed the broader market, with the mining subindex up 2 per cent, while the property index up 1.5 pe rcent.

Bank Indonesia held its benchmark interest rate at 5.75 per cent as expected, saying economic growth remained resilient and that the current rate was in line with its inflation target for this and next year.

The Philippine main index edged up 0.03 per cent to 6,459.93. Manila has retreated, moving in a tight range since Feb. 5 when it set an all-time closing high of 6,470.49. Bangkok's SET index inched down 0.01 per cent to 1488.95, extending losses for a sixth straight session after its recent rally to an 18-month closing high of 1,506.37 on Feb. 4.

Foreign investors were net sellers of Thai shares of US$400 million (RM1239.40) over the past five sessions to Monday, according to Thomson Reuters data. — Reuters

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