By Nikhil Subba
Indonesia's benchmark closed over 3% higher on Thursday, posting its first monthly gain this year, after the country signalled a positive end to the financial year with economic growth set to recover.
Bank Indonesia (BI) said on Thursday it expects a stronger recovery for GDP growth in the final quarter of the year and maintained its full-year 2020 forecast at 2.3%.
The Indonesia benchmark rose 3.3% to close at a over two-week high, while marking its best day since April 17. The index ended the month nearly 4% higher, after three straight months of losses.
Bank Central Asia climbed 6.6%, while Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Syariah jumped 20.4% at close.
Meanwhile, markets were lifted by positive early results from a U.S government clinical trial showing that Gilead Sciences Inc experimental drug remdesivir helped certain COVID-19 patients recover more quickly from the illness.
"The vaccine is incredibly positive news for the oil market as it suggests a quicker recovery in global demand as oil downstream sectors would be expected to fire up," Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note.
Oil prices rose on Thursday on signs that gasoline demand is starting to pick up as COVID-19 restrictions begin easing in parts of the world. [O/R]]
Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed about 2% to settle at a peak of over two weeks, boosted by financials. The benchmark rose 5.8% in April, its biggest monthly gain since end-June 2019.
DBS Group closed at seven-week peak, while logging its best session since March 25, after the lender retained its quarterly dividend and flagged a stable annual outlook.
Malaysia stocks ended the session nearly 2% up, while closing the month more than 4% higher - its best monthly performance since July 2018.
Petronas Chemicals Group finished nearly 9% up, while Press Metal Aluminium Holdings ended 4.2% higher.
Thai stocks firmed 1.5% to close at its highest since March 6. In April, the index advanced about 15.3%, its biggest monthly gain since December 2003.
Mobile phones supplier TWZ Corp jumped 20% at close, while Thai Oil closed 3.2% higher.
(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)