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Southeast Asia stocks: Indonesia extends gains on dovish comments from central bank official

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08/08/2019 | 06:17am EST
A man walks past screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta

(Reuters) - Indonesian shares rose over 1% on Thursday, extending gains into the second session after dovish comments from a top central bank official boosted investor sentiment, while Singapore stocks closed lower for a sixth session in seven on industrials.

Bank Indonesia's new senior deputy governor, Destry Damayanti, said on Wednesday she expected "the direction of monetary policy easing to last long into the future".

The central bank cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points last month, which many analysts saw as the start to an easing cycle.

Elsewhere, China's exports unexpectedly returned to growth in July that left the country with a trade surplus of $45.06 billion, compared to analysts' forecast for a $40 billion surplus.

The banking sector helped Indonesian stocks <.JKSE> rise the most in the region, with Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) gaining 1% while Bank Mandiri (Persero) added 2%.

Industrials like Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings dragged on Singapore shares <.STI>. Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic fell 3.8% and 1.3%, respectively.

A 20% drop in Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings caused considerable drag on the industrial sector, said Joel Ng, an analyst with KGI Securities.

Malaysian shares <.KLSE> rebounded from the previous session's losses, helped by financial and consumer stocks. RHB Bank gained 2%, while palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantations rose 4.7%.

Thai shares edged lower, hurt by losses in the energy sector as oil prices fell earlier in the day.

PTT PCL and PTT Exploration and Production fell 1.7% and 2%, respectively.

Philippine shares <.PSI> were flat, as gains in telecom stocks offset losses in financials.

The central bank cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points, as expected, after the economy expanded slower than expected in the second quarter.

(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha, additional reporting by Anushka Trivedi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

By Soumyajit Saha

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BANK MANDIRI (PERSERO) TBK PT End-of-day quote.
BANK RAKYAT INDONESIA (PERSERO) TBK PT End-of-day quote.
JARDINE MATHESON HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.94% 55.56 End-of-day quote.-0.34%
JARDINE STRATEGIC HOLDINGS LIMITED -2.63% 31.16 End-of-day quote.1.66%
PTT EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION PCL End-of-day quote.
PTT PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED End-of-day quote.
RHB BANK BHD End-of-day quote.
SIME DARBY PLANTATION BHD End-of-day quote.
YANGZIJIANG SHIPBUILDING (HOLDINGS) LTD. -4.81% 0.99 End-of-day quote.-12.39%
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