April 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
posted small gains on Thursday as investors remained on the
sidelines for a lack of economic cues while uncertainties around
the French elections over the weekend kept global risk appetite
The sense of caution was exacerbated by weakness on Wall
Street and overnight decline in commodity prices, especially
Several energy stocks in Southeast Asia had declined in the
previous session as crude oil fell to a two-week low. Oil prices
regained some lost ground on Thursday with a slight drop in U.S.
crude inventories stoking hopes that a global supply overhang
might slowly retreat.
Asian stocks excluding Japan rose 0.2
percent on bargain hunting after falling 0.5 percent in early
trades. The index lost nearly 2 percent in the last four
The French presidential elections will be closely watched as
the stakes for investors are high, with two anti-EU, anti-euro
candidates among the four seen still in contention to make it to
a second round two weeks after Sunday's ballot.
Singapore shares rose 0.2 percent, helped by
industrials and financials, while oil and gas and telecom stocks
Jardine Matheson Holdings recovered from the
previous day's losses to gain 1.3 percent.
Oil rig builder Keppel Corp fell 1.5 percent,
while Sembcorp Industries declined as much as 1.6
percent to its lowest since early January.
Indonesian shares see-sawed after resuming trade
following a holiday on Wednesday for gubernatorial elections in
Polls showed that incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja
Purnama, seen by some analysts as foreign investor-friendly, had
lost his bid for re-election by a big margin.
The Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.26 percent.
Investors will also look out for the central bank meeting
later in the day, where it is widely expected to keep its
benchmark interest rate steady, according to a Reuters
Thai shares edged up, led by industrials with
Airports of Thailand up nearly 2 percent.
However, Vietnam shares were 0.5 percent lower.
For Asian Companies click;
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0506 GMT
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3133.34 3126.28 0.23
Bangkok 1571.63 1567.19 0.28
Manila 7528.27 7522.98 0.07
Jakarta 5600.832 5606.517 -0.10
Kuala Lumpur 1741.29 1738.95 0.13
Ho Chi Minh 713.34 716.77 -0.48
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3133.34 2880.76 8.77
Bangkok 1571.63 1542.94 1.86
Manila 7528.27 6840.64 10.1
Jakarta 5600.832 5296.711 5.74
Kuala Lumpur 1741.29 1641.73 6.06
Ho Chi Minh 713.34 664.87 7.30
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)