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Indonesia Bourse Expected To Be Rangebound

The Indonesia stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, collecting more than 65 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The Jakarta Composite Index now sits just above the 6,035-point plateau and it's expected to hold steady at that level on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid a lack of catalysts, although crude oil offers mild support. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The JCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following mixed performances from the financial shares, resource stocks and cement companies.

For the day, the index gained 33.85 points or 0.56 percent to finish at 6,036.62 after trading between 5,982.07 and 6,040.46.

Among the actives, Bank Danamon Indonesia skidded 1.06 percent, while Bank CIMB Niaga tumbled 1.85 percent, Bank Negara Indonesia lost 0.86 percent, Bank Central Asia improved 1.38 percent, Bank Mandiri collected 0.80 percent, Indosat sank 0.72 percent, Indocement jumped 1.85 percent, Semen Indonesia fell 0.24 percent, Indofood Suskes added 0.37 percent, Astra International shed 0.47 percent, Aneka Tambang climbed 1.29 percent, Vale Indonesia rose 0.43 percent, Timah dropped 1.24 percent and Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bukit Asam, Bumi Resources, Astra Agro Lestari and United Tractors were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed and little changed.

The Dow rose 16.02 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 33,446.26, while the NASDAQ eased 9.54 points or 0.07 percent to end at 13,688.84 and the S&P 500 was up 6.01 points or 0.15 percent to close at 4,079.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders sought more clarity about the near-term outlook for the markets - which have risen to record highs in recent sessions, but traders may be worried the markets are becoming overbought.

Traders also kept an eye on the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, although the central bank only reiterated that it is unlikely to change its ultra-loose monetary policy anytime soon.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in February.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, supported by data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.44 or 0.7 percent at $59.77 a barrel.

Closer to home, Indonesia will provide February figures for retail sales later today; in January, sales were down 16.4 percent on year.

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