Plus   Neg

Rally May Stall For Indonesia Stock Market

The Indonesia stock market has closed higher now in back-to-back sessions, rising almost 20 points or 0.5 percent along the way. The Jakarta Composite Index finished just above the 4,165-point plateau, and now traders are expected to lock in gains when the market kicks off trade on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild selling pressure as investors figure to take profits after hefty gains in the previous session, while some uninspired earnings news from Intel and IBM also may weigh on investors. Adding to the cautious sentiment, Spain's bad loans reached an 18-year high in February, the Bank of Spain said. About 8.16 percent of loans held by banks in February were non-performing, the highest since October 1994. The European and U.S. markets finished lower, and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

The JCI finished slightly higher on Wednesday, nudged higher by gains from the resource stocks.

For the day, the index gathered 8.87 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 4,166.24 after trading between 4,151.26 and 4,185.21. Volume was 5.24 billion shares worth 5.48 trillion rupiah. There were 133 gainers and 116 decliners.

Among the gainers, Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food surged 8.3 percent, while Indo Tambangraya Megah jumped 2.1 percent and Timah added 1.7 percent.

Wall Street offers a negative lead as stocks moved moderately lower on Wednesday, giving back some ground after ending the previous session sharply higher. Lingering concerns about the financial situation in Europe may also have led to the profit taking despite Tuesday's successful Spanish bond auction.

Soft earnings news also contributed to the weakness, with shares of Intel (INTC) falling by 1.8 percent after the semiconductor giant reported its first quarter results. Intel reported first quarter earnings that exceeded estimates on revenues that came in line with expectations. However, the company also provided disappointing gross margin guidance.

Shares of IBM (IBM) also ended the day in the red after the tech giant reported better than expected than first quarter earnings but on weaker than expected sales.

Meanwhile, internet media giant Yahoo (YHOO) moved to the upside on the day after reporting first quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded analyst estimates.

The major averages saw some volatility in late-day trading but all finished the day in the red. The Dow fell 82.79 points or 0.6 percent to finish at 13,032.75, while the NASDAQ dipped 11.37 points or 0.4 percent to end at 3,031.45 and the S&P 500 slid 5.64 points or 0.4 percent to 1,385.14.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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