Up; Indonesia heads for best gain in 2 yrs on stimulus hopes

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BANGKOK (Aug 27): Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday after US and Chinese equities rebounded, with stocks in Indonesia rallying ahead of a government stimulus package and the Philippine index advancing after positive economic data.

Jakarta's composite index jumped 3.28%, heading for its biggest single-day rise since September 2013. Foreign investors bought recently-battered large-caps such as Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia.

Indonesia on Thursday will unveil a policy package intended to prop up the rupiah, which hit another fresh 17-year low, and boost investment at a time when Southeast Asia's largest economy faces its weakest growth in six years.

The Philippines' main index was up 2.2%, a third day of gains this week. Data showed the Philippine economy rebounded with a growth of 5.6% in the second quarter, defying a regional slowdown.

Much of the regional share slide this week was due to foreign outflows amid selloffs in Chinese stocks, stock exchange data showed.

A sharp rebound on Wall Street and gains in battered Chinese shares eased fears of a deep and protracted global market rout, lifting Asian stocks on Thursday.

The Thai SET index was up 1.9%, after a drop the day before. Consumer-related shares such as CP All and Kasikornbank outperformed on hopes about the government's economic measures.

"Further institutional buying should be a major driver for SET Index, especially on the domestic plays which benefit from the stimulus packages, focused on low income earners," said broker KGI Securities in a report.

Singapore was up 2%, after a weak spell on Wednesday. Malaysia and Vietnam were both on track for a third straight gain, climbing 1% and 1.6%, respectively.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change at 0549 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
Singapore 2928.99 2873.00 +1.95
Kuala Lumpur 1596.70 1580.37 +1.03
Bangkok 1345.30 1320.08 +1.91
Jakarta 4376.52 4237.73 +3.28
Manila 7019.63 6867.92 +2.21
Ho Chi Minh 554.82 545.89 +1.64