BANGKOK (Oct 20): Southeast Asian stocks rose on Monday, with Indonesian shares hitting their highest in more than two weeks amid expectations of a cut in fuel subsidy and easing political tensions.
Gains in the region were also supported by brighter sentiment regarding global risk assets.
Japanese stocks led a rally in Asia on Monday, after solid U.S. data and earnings calmed tumult in global financial markets and reassured investors worried about the health of the world economy.
Brokers in the region cited expectations about the U.S. interest rates.
"Expectations grew for the U.S. Fed to maintain interest rate at a low level until the second half of 2015 and while the ECB pledged to begin its asset purchase soon, which could lead to a relief rise after a week of sharp correction," Bangkok-based broker KGI Securities said.
Among the outperformers, Indonesia's key index was up 1.02 percent at 5,080.42 after hitting 5,101.21, the highest since Oct. 2. Inflows lifted large caps with Bank Mandiri and Telkom Indonesia among the top actively traded stocks.
Former Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia's seventh president at a ceremony in parliament on Monday. One of his first jobs will be cutting back generous fuel subsidies to avoid breaching a legal limit on the budget deficit.
The Thai SET index traded up 0.64 percent at 1,538.56. Shares of Kasikornbank jumped more than 3
percent and Bangkok Bank rose about 1 percent after both of them reported better-than-expected July-September earnings.
Stocks in Singapore and Malaysia extended their gains for a second consecutive session, further recovering from recent weakness due to concerns about the health of the global economy.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0420 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
Singapore 3185.11 3167.73 +0.55
Kuala Lumpur 1802.63 1788.31 +0.80
Bangkok 1538.56 1528.71 +0.64
Jakarta 5080.42 5028.95 +1.02
Manila 7057.22 7003.22 +0.77
Ho Chi Minh 589.94 585.28 +0.80
(1 US dollar = 12,005.0000 rupiah)