April 17, 2014 / 7:16 AM / 4 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most indexes higher on earnings hopes

SINGAPORE, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock
markets mostly rose on Thursday as investors bought shares on
expectations of strong corporate earnings, while Singapore's
Keppel Corp fell after weak quarterly results.
    Gains in some heavyweight banking stocks such as Indonesia's
Bank Central Asia helped push up the Jakarta's
Composite Index. Trading was rangebound ahead of a
public holiday on Friday.
    In Bangkok, shares of Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank
 were among outperformers on the benchmark SET index
    Brokers said technical indicators were positive after the
SET index passed a key 1,400 mark, the level last hit since
November, with hopes about the U.S. economy bolstering
    "Another driver for risk assets was the speech by Fed Chair
Yellen that the Fed will continue to support the U.S. economy,"
strategists at broker KGI Securities wrote in a report.
    Asian share markets eked out gains on Thursday as dovish
comments from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve combined with
an upbeat economic assessment from the central bank to lift Wall
Street for a third straight session. 
    In Singapore, the key Straits Times Index pared
early gains after a weaker-than-expected non-oil exports for
March while investors were content to stay on the sidelines
ahead of a three-day weekend, starting Friday. 
    Among actively traded, shares of Keppel Corp shed about 2
percent after it posted a 5 percent decrease in net profit for
the first quarter. 
    Philippine stock market was shut for a market holiday,
reopening on Monday. 
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 Change at 0659 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 TR SE Asia Index*   420.50        419.46       +0.25
 Singapore          3252.06       3253.20       -0.03
 Kuala Lumpur       1849.07       1845.37       +0.20
 Bangkok            1405.77       1401.84       +0.28
 Jakarta            4889.33       4873.01       +0.34
 Ho Chi Minh         578.85        574.29       +0.79
 (Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Anand Basu)
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