Most higher; Malaysia keeps rates steady

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BANGKOK (Sept 18): Most Southeast Asian markets gained on Thursday, with banking shares outperforming in Malaysia before the central bank rate decision, while stocks in Indonesia and Thailand closed at their highest in more than a week.

Malaysia's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 3.25 percent on Thursday, holding off from a second tightening in less than three months, after recent signs of a slowdown in exports and credit growth.

The rate decision came after the market closed.

Kuala Lumpur's composite index ended a tad higher, with shares of Public Bank and Maybank rising in strong volume.

Local institutions and domestic retail investors bought Malaysian stocks worth a net 129.6 million ringgit ($40.12 million) and 11.5 million ringgit respectively, while foreign investors were net sellers, stock exchange data showed.

Jakarta's composite index edged up 0.4 percent while the Thai index closed up 0.9 percent, both hitting their highest closing levels since Sept 08.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on day
Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
Singapore          3297.29       3296.48       +0.02
Kuala Lumpur       1845.32       1843.78       +0.08
Bangkok            1584.23       1570.64       +0.87
Jakarta            5208.14       5188.18       +0.38
Manila             7287.29       7231.84       +0.77
Ho Chi Minh         615.80        625.66       -1.58

Change on year
Market             Current       End 2013    Pct Move
Singapore          3297.29       3167.43       +4.10
Kuala Lumpur       1845.32       1866.96       -1.16
Bangkok            1584.23       1298.71      +21.98
Jakarta            5208.14       4274.18      +21.85
Manila             7287.29       5889.83      +23.73
Ho Chi Minh         615.80        504.63      +22.03

(1 US dollar = 3.2300 Malaysian ringgit)

(Thurs 18/09/14 18:58:34)