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.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
|Market||Current||Previous close||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||962.3||972.1||-1.01|
Change so far in 2019
|Market||Current||End 2018||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||962.3||892.54||7.82|