Indonesia hits 2-month high on upbeat GDP data

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(Aug 6): Philippine and Vietnam shares were subdued on Monday, while other Southeast Asian markets traded higher in line with broader Asian peers, with Indonesia camping near a two-month peak boosted by robust GDP figures.

Asia shares ex-Japan rose 0.9% in early trade after the People's Bank of China (PBoC) on Friday raised the reserve requirement on foreign exchange forward positions, making it more expensive to bet against the Chinese currency.

Although the PBoC had implemented a 20% reserve in 2015, it had failed to stop the RMB from weakening further. "It is a strong signal. China will not hesitate to intervene in the market should the currency depreciation risk the financial stability," OCBC Bank said.

However, escalating trade friction between two of the biggest economies — the United States and China — curbed further gains in the regional markets.

"The risk of escalation of trade war may cap gains of RMB following the announcement of PBoC to impose 20% reserve ratio for long dollar forward position," OCBC Bank said.

Indonesia's economic growth rate in the second quarter was 5.27%, higher than expected and at the strongest pace since 2013, statistics bureau data showed. A Reuters poll had forecast a pace of 5.16% for April-June.

Shares in Southeast Asia's largest economy climbed to their highest in two months, underpinned by gains in consumer and telecom stocks.

Astra International rose up to 4.9%, while Telekom Indonesia gained as much as 4.6%.  

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks advanced 2%.  

Singaporean shares recovered from previous session's losses to mark their biggest jump in nearly two weeks.

Shares of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp were the biggest boost on the bourse, jumping as much as 3.3%. The financial services company beat market expectations with a 16% rise in quarterly profits.

Thai shares inched higher with PTT Public Co rising as much as 1% on the back of stronger oil prices, while Kasikornbank Public Co climbed up to 1.9%.

Meanwhile, Philippine shares shed recent gains to edge lower, with industrials leading the decline; and Malaysian stocks edged lower as losses in telecom stocks outweighed gains in other sectors. Digi.Com Bhd lost over 1%.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0434 GMT
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3291.85   3265.73         0.80
Bangkok            1712.58   1712.09         0.03
Manila             7802.07   7819.39         -0.22
Jakarta            6090.111  6007.538        1.37
Kuala Lumpur       1778.54   1780.09         -0.09
Ho Chi Minh        957.44    959.6           -0.23

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3291.85   3402.92         -3.26
Bangkok            1712.58   1753.71         -2.35
Manila             7802.07   8558.42         -8.84
Jakarta            6090.111  6355.654        -4.18
Kuala Lumpur       1778.54   1796.81         -1.02
Ho Chi Minh        957.44    984.24          -2.72