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Lower Open Predicted For Indonesia Stock Market

The Indonesia stock market has moved higher in consecutive trading days, gathering more than 40 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Jakarta Composite Index now rests just above the 6,535-point plateau although investors may cash in on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on disappointing economic data and a slide in crude oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The JCI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares and cement companies, while the resource stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index gained 24.98 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 6,537.77 after trading between 6,498.99 and 6,539.07.

Among the actives, Indocement spiked 2.05 percent, while Semen Indonesia added 0.19 percent, United Tractors jumped 1.92 percent, Indofood Suskes added 0.67 percent, Unilever dropped 1.00 percent, Bank Danamon Indonesia collected 0.27 percent, Bank Mandiri soared 3.17 percent, Bank Negara Indonesia advanced 1.13 percent, Indosat rose 0.28 percent, Bumi Resources skyrocketed 8.67 percent, Aneka Tambang plunged 2.36 percent, Timah was up 2.70 percent and Holcim Indonesia was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved lower Thursday following the release of a batch of largely disappointing U.S. economic data.

The Dow shed 103.81 points or 0.40 percent to 25,850.63, while the NASDAQ lost 29.36 points or 0.39 percent to 7,459.71 and the S&P fell 9.82 points or 0.35 percent to 2,774.88.

The weakness on Wall Street came on the heels of disappointing economic data, including a report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showing a contraction in regional manufacturing activity for the first time since May 2016.

Also, the Commerce Department showed a smaller than expected increase in durable goods orders in January. The National Association of Realtors also said existing home sales unexpectedly fell to their lowest level in over three years in January. And the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the week ended February 16th.

Optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China helped to limit the downside on reports that the two sides have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their dispute.

Crude oil prices edged lower on Thursday, with concerns over excess supply in the market weighing on the commodity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.20 or 0.4 percent at $56.96 a barrel.

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