Asean markets mixed, Indonesia trims gains after trade data


BANGKOK: Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed on Friday, with stocks in Indonesia trimming early gains as investors weighed in weak December trade data, while fragile sentiment remained in Asia amid weak oil prices and disappointing Chinese data.
    
The Jakarta composite index was up 0.4 percent, with shares of Astra International among outperformers after upbeat motorcycle sales data in December. 
    
The benchmark is heading for a modest weekly loss of about 0.4 percent, with the central bank's interest rate cut on Thursday partly to support economic growth bolstering broader sharemarket sentiment.
    
Indonesia posted a slightly weaker-than-expected trade balance in December due to a fall in commodity exports and weak domestic economic activity weighing on imports. 

Malaysia's key index rebounded from a near four-week closing low hit on Thursday while the Philippines was up about 1 percent, further recovering from a near two-year low hit on Monday due to jitters in the region over China.

Stocks in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam  erased early gains and fell, while Asian shares as measured by MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.6 percent.  

Brokers in Bangkok expect volatile market trading.

"The SET index may stage a tactical bounce on Friday but overall trading will remain volatile ... Mute foreign flows and the near term weakness in the fundamental structure of Thai big caps will continue to cap the SET upside," said KGI Securities
in a report.
    
Most sharemarkets headed for a second straight weekly loss,led by Singapore which is set for a nearly four percent drop on the week.
    
Bucking the trend, Bangkok's key SET index is on course for a weekly gain of more than 1 percent as investors piled into banking shares ahead of earnings announcements. - Reuters

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