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Indonesia Stock Market Poised To Open Higher

The Indonesia stock market on Thursday ended the three-day losing streak in which it had given away more than 35 points or 0.8 percent. The Jakarta Composite Index finished just shy of the 4,140-point plateau, and now investors are looking for further upside when the market kicks off trade on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat in anticipation of solid GDP data from China this morning. Also, the European Central Bank said that inflation in Eurozone is subject to upside risks and it is ready with all the tools necessary to address them "in a firm and timely manner." In corporate news, Internet giant Google Inc. said that its first quarter profit rose 61 percent from last year. The European and U.S. markets finished firmly higher, and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The JCI finished slightly higher on Thursday as gains from the finance and property stocks were offset by selling among the resource plays.

For the day, the index collected 9.53 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 4,139.54 after trading between 4,120.37 and 4,149.75. Volume was 5.09 billion shares worth 4.86 trillion rupiah. There were 149 gainers and 87 decliners.

Among the actives, Bank Rakyat Indonesia added 1.5 percent, while Bank Central Asia gathered 1.3 percent, Garuda Indonesia surged 3.3 percent, Bumi Resources shed 2.3 percent and Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam dropped 1.3 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks extended gains from the previous session on Thursday, continuing to recover from the sell-off earlier in the week.

The support followed a Commerce Department report showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $46.0 billion in February from $52.5 billion in January. Economists had been expected a trade deficit of about $51.7 billion. The data indicated that trade wasn't as big of a drag on first quarter GDP growth as previously anticipated, and led Capital Economics to raise its first quarter GDP growth estimate to 2.5 percent from 2.0 percent.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing initial jobless claims rose to 380,000 in the week ended April 7 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000. Economists had expected claims to edge up to 359,000 from the 357,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department also reported that its producer price index was unchanged in March following a 0.4 percent increase in February, versus forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the core producer price index rose 0.3 percent in March after edging up 0.2 percent in February, in line with expectations.

In corporate news, shares of Sony (SNE) ended lower after the consumer electronics giant said it will cut about 10,000 jobs in fiscal 2012 as part of a turnaround plan.

The major averages closed firmly in positive territory, near their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 181.19 points or 1.4 percent to finish at 12,986.58, while the NASDAQ surged 39.09 points or 1.3 percent to 3,055.05 and the S&P 500 soared 18.86 points or 1.4 percent to 1,387.57.

On the economic front, Indonesia's central bank on Thursday decided to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low of 5.75 percent, reports said. Bank Indonesia kept the key BI rate unchanged for a second consecutive month after a quarter-point reduction in February.

The bank aims to bring inflation towards its range of 3.5-5.5 percent in 2013. Inflation rose to 3.97 percent in March after unexpectedly easing to 3.56 percent in February. Meanwhile, core annual inflation slowed slightly to 4.25 percent from 4.31 percent in February, according to official data.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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