Indonesia gains on Widodo's likely re-election; Vietnam falls

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BENGALURU (April 18): Indonesian stocks ended higher on Thursday as President Joko Widodo looked poised to win a second term based on unofficial vote counts, while Vietnam shares slumped to a 2-month closing low dragged down by consumer staple and real estate counters.

Results from private pollsters showed Widodo winning the popular vote with at least 54%, giving him a lead of around eight percentage points ahead of challenger Prabowo Subianto.

"During his new term, we would expect stability and continuity in his polices, thus removing a major overhang for the market," DBS Bank said in a note to clients.

The Jakarta index pared earlier gains, to end the session 0.4% higher. The benchmark, which will be closed for holidays on Friday, advanced 1.3% this week.

Financials were the biggest boost to the index, with Bank Central Asia Tbk PT rising 2.4% and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT adding 2.3%.

Meanwhile, Vietnam shares declined for a fourth straight session, slipping 1% on Thursday, its lowest closing level since Feb 18.

Fitch Solutions said Vietnam's real GDP growth will slow to 6.5% this year from 7.1% in 2018, while earning growth in banking sector is also expected to ease.

Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp slumped 6.4%, while Vingroup JSC fell 0.9%.

Malaysian stocks trimmed earlier losses to end marginally lower. Telecom firm Maxis Bhd was the worst performer, declining 2.2%.

Philippine markets were closed for the week on account of holidays, while Singapore will be shut on Friday.

The Singapore bourse gained for a sixth consecutive week, advancing 0.5% this week.


Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3347.58   3348.64         -0.03
Bangkok                1675      1673.2          0.11
Jakarta                6507.221  6481.541        0.40
Kuala Lumpur           1619.73   1620.9          -0.07
Ho Chi Minh            962.3     972.1           -1.01

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3347.58   3068.76         9.09
Bangkok                1675      1563.88         7.11
Jakarta                6507.221  6,194.50        5.05
Kuala Lumpur           1619.73   1690.58         -4.19
Ho Chi Minh            962.3     892.54          7.82