BENGALURU (April 16): Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Tuesday, with Indonesia leading the pack, as investors remained optimistic about a recovery in China's economy ahead of the country's first-quarter growth pace set to be released on Wednesday.
First-quarter economy growth in China, the region's largest trading partner, likely cooled to the weakest pace in at least 27 years, a Reuters poll showed, but a flurry of measures to boost domestic demand may have put a floor under slowing activity in March.
"With a sizeable 4 trillion Chinese yuan (US$596.42 billion) fiscal stimulus and a monetary easing policy that has created 40% credit growth in 1Q19 alone, we expect the Chinese economy to grow above the 6% lower boundary target set by the government," according to a note from ING.
Indonesian stocks led gains in the region with broad-based increase across the sectors as investors snapped up stocks ahead of the presidential elections on Wednesday.
President Joko Widodo is standing for re-election in a contest with ex-general Prabowo Subianto, in what is described as the world's biggest single-day election.
Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk Pt and Astra International Tbk Pt were the top boosts to the index rising 3.7% and 2%, respectively.
An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks rose 1.1%.
Philippine stocks pared earlier gains to close 0.5% higher, snapping three consecutive sessions of losses, on the back of real estate and industrial stocks.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed a 3.7 trillion peso (US$71.5 billion) budget for this year, its largest ever, ending months of impasse that forced the Southeast Asian country to cuts its growth target.
Shares of SM Investments Corp gained 1.9%, while those in SM Prime Holdings Inc firmed 2.4%.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam index closed down 0.6% at its lowest closing level since March 27, dragged by real estate stocks.
Vinhomes JSC and Vincom Retail JSC dropped more than 2% each.
Thai market was closed for a holiday.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
|Market||Current||Previous close||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||977.17||982.9||-0.58|
Change so far in 2019
|Market||Current||End 2018||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||977.17||892.54||9.48|
(US$1 = 6.7067 Chinese yuan renminbi)