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Indonesia Stock Market Expected To Find Traction

The Indonesia stock market has finished lower in back-to-back sessions, falling almost 25 points or 0.5 percent along the way. The Jakarta Composite Index settled just above the 5,435-point plateau, although the market draws a higher open on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, again thanks to generally upbeat earnings news. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were barely higher - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The JCI finished barely lower following weakness from the food stocks and mixed performances from the financial shares and resource stocks.

For the day, the index eased 0.91 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 5,436.21 after trading between 5,430.28 and 5,464.34. Volume was 4.13 billion shares worth 4.71 trillion rupiah. There were 166 decliners and 135 gainers, with 108 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Astra Agro Lestari added 0.11 percent, while Aneka Tambang gained 0.58 percent, Bank Central Asia collected 0.17 percent, Bank Negara Indonesia gathered 0.35 percent, Bank Danamon Indonesia dropped 3.70 percent, Bank Mandiri dipped 0.21 percent, Bumi Resources tumbled 3.75 percent, Central Proteina Prima retreated 2.94 percent and Energi Mega Persada plunged 3.66 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks shrugged off early volatility to move mostly higher on Thursday. With the upward move, the tech-heavy NASDAQ hit a new record closing high.

While the NASDAQ rose 20.89 points or 0.4 percent to 5,056.06, the Dow inched up 20.42 points or 0.1 percent to 18,058.69 and the S&P 500 added 4.97 points or 0.2 percent to 2,112.93.

The strength on Wall Street reflected a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news from big-name companies, including AT&T (T) and eBay (EBAY) - although the numbers from General Motors (GM) and 3M (MMM) disappointed.

Traders also expressed optimism that the Federal Reserve will delay its planned increase in interest rates following disappointing housing data from the Commerce Department.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 18, although claims remained below 300,000.

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