ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
ASEAN Markets Rally Shayne Heffernan
ASEAN Markets Rally
Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia will be shut on Friday for holidays.
Wall St rose sharply on Thursday as concern was eased when China refuted a report that it was reviewing its holdings in euro-zone sovereign bonds due to the region's debt.
Data showing the U.S. economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the first quarter was not enough to keep investors from grabbing bargains after major indexes dropped more than 10 percent over the past month.
In other data released on Thursday, new applications for state jobless benefits dropped to 460,000 last week from 474,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said, pointing to a gradual labor market recovery.
ASEAN markets opened lower but staged a good rally on Thursday as investors bought bargains among ASEAN's cheaply valued shares and positive sentiment in commodity markets spurred demand for energy and resource sectors.
As we suggested yesterday the markets in Asia opened lower but then recovered to post gains by early afternoon.The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index rose 1.3 percent to 111.22 as of 1:40 p.m. in Tokyo after New Zealand and South Korea posted current-account surpluses and Japan reported a fifth monthly gain in exports. The measure is still set for the worst monthly performance since October 2008, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
Sentiment in the ASEAN region turned positive as the troubled euro staged a comeback on Thursday after comments from a Chinese official calmed some concerns that the country may be distancing itself from euro zone debt holdings.
Indonesia, ASEAN's best performer in 2010, posted a smaller gain of 0.6 percent, building on a 7.3 percent rally on Wednesday. Its index closed at the highest since May 20.
Astra International (ASII.JK) rose 3.6 percent, building on a 10 percent rise the day before following an upbeat car sales forecast. But Bumi Resources (BUMI.JK) fell 1.2 percent, reversing a 20 percent jump on Wednesday after a court ruling against a tax investigation into one of its units.
In Bangkok, top energy firm PTT (PTT.BK) gained 2.1 percent after it told analysts the performance of its core gas business would be solid and it expected to finalise the consolidation of its downstream affiliates before the announcement of second-quarter earnings.
PTT Exploration and Production (PTTE.BK) was up 0.4 percent after it said it was looking to buy one or two oil and gas assets worldwide this year. An executive of Thailand's second-biggest listed firm told Reuters he was optimistic about sales volume and prices.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index on Thursday gained 8.34 points or 1.14 per cent to close at 737.28 points. The market value was 22.30 billion baht, with 2.46 billion shares traded.
In Singapore shares closed higher on Thursday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index at 2,739.7, up 1.6 per cent, or 43.68 points.
About 1.5 billion shares exchanged hands.
Gainers beat losers 355 to 131
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Composite Index halted a nine day losing streak with a strong rally on Thursday as investors put aside lingering concerns about debt problems in Europe to re-enter the market at cheaper levels.
At the close, the 30-counter strong FBM KLCI climbed 20.22 points, or 1.6% to 1,269.16 points. Market breadth was positive, with 635 advancers leading 142 decliners.
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