SE Asia Stocks-Firmer; Malaysia hits new peak on blue-chips, foreign buying
April 11 (Reuters) - Malaysian stocks hit an all-time high on Thursday, helped by gains in blue-chips amid continued foreign inflows, while all other Southeast Asian markets also gained after fresh data underscored a recovery in China. Kuala Lumpur's Composite Index hit a new record high of 1,710.35, surpassing its previous all-time high of 1,700.55, hit on April 4. It closed 0.6 percent firmer at a record closing high of 1,707.04, led by blue-chips. Kuala Lumpur witnessed a net foreign inflow of $63.45 million on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net offshore inflow to $3.6 billion. Kaladher Govindan, head of equity research at TA Securities, said foreigners had been on the buying side ahead of May 5 general election though the valuation of the market was expensive compared with Jakarta, Thailand, and Singapore. "It is probably 'election-play' and there is some foreign money coming in because of the huge liquidity around right now," he said. Foreign buying has been robust in Malaysian stocks this year on hopes that an upcoming general election could help lift political overhang, making the market more attractive to risk averse investors. "It is hard to say if this can be sustained. We're already looking a bit toppish. I think the momentum might slow come nomination day," on April 20, Govindan said. He said the stock market will be well supported if there is no change in government while a win for the untested opposition may lead bring some uncertainty. Malaysia's Sime Darby Bhd, the world's largest palm oil planter by landbank size, gained 1.5 percent while Axiata Group Bhd rose 1.4 percent after Nomura Equity Research raised its target price. Banks boost Thailand and Indonesia to a one-week high with 1.8 percent and 1 percent gains respectively. Though Jakarta stocks slightly fell soon after Indonesia's central bank raised concerns over slowing economic growth, it recovered on late buying. The Philippines ended 0.2 percent up at its highest since April 1, while Singapore gained 0.5 percent to a more than one-week high. Vietnam rebounded on Thursday to end with 1.5 percent gain, from a steep fall as investors cooled off following an unexplained bout of selling by foreign funds in the previous session, analysts said. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 448.98 446.08 +0.65 Singapore 3308.80 3293.25 +0.47 Kuala Lumpur 1707.04 1696.20 +0.64 Bangkok 1516.81 1490.25 +1.78 Jakarta 4924.26 4877.48 +0.96 Manila 6831.74 6815.84 +0.23 Ho Chi Minh 504.07 496.50 +1.52 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 448.98 424.10 +5.87 Singapore 3308.80 3167.08 +4.47 Kuala Lumpur 1707.04 1688.95 +1.07 Bangkok 1516.81 1391.93 +8.97 Jakarta 4924.26 4316.69 +14.08 Manila 6831.74 5812.73 +17.53 Ho Chi Minh 504.07 413.73 +21.84 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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