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South-east Asia: Indonesia stocks post best gains in almost 3 weeks after BI holds rate
[BANGKOK] Most South-east Asian share markets rose on Thursday, in line with world stocks ahead of the US Federal Reserve's interest rate decision with the Indonesian index marking its best gain in nearly three weeks after Bank Indonesia maintained its policy rate.
Bank Indonesia kept its benchmark policy interest rate unchanged at 7.5 per cent, saying the level was consistent with efforts to manage inflation this year and in 2016.
The announcement, which came in the last trading hour on Thursday, sent the key Jakarta composite index 1.1 per cent higher, its biggest single-day gain since Aug 31.
Shares of Bank Rakyat Indonesia jumped 4.4 per cent and Bank Central Asia advanced 3.2 per cent, with foreign investors net buying both stocks, Thomson Reuters data showed.
In Bangkok, an expected decision by the Thai central bank on Wednesday to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent boosted banking shares for a second day, helping send the key SET index 0.6 per cent higher.
Malaysia was an outperformer on the day, with the key Kuala Lumpur composite index ending up 2.1 per cent at the highest close since Aug 7.
The Malaysian bourse said foreign investors were net buyers for a second trading day on Thursday, buying shares worth a net 482.5 million ringgit (S$159 million). They were also net buyers on Tuesday, while Wednesday was a market holiday.
Stocks in Singapore and the Philippines extended their gains of the past days. The key Straits Times Index hit a more than one-week closing high and the Philippine index ended at a four-week closing peak.
Vietnam's benchmark VN Index closed down 0.29 per cent, led lower by BIDV shares after a second exchange-traded fund revoked its intention to buy BIDV shares.