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​SE Asia Stocks-Most markets gain as Italy concerns wane

Friday, June 01, 2018, 10:32 GMT+7

Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Thursday, with Vietnam gasining nearly 2.5 percent, as the political turmoil in Italy that roiled global financial markets showed signs of easing.

A degree of calm returned with the two anti-establishment parties renewing efforts to form a coalition government, rather than force Italy into holding elections for the second time this year, which could have stoked fears of such a vote effectively being a referendum on its euro membership.

Two polls showed between 60-72 percent of Italians wanted the country to remain part of the euro, while 23-24 percent would choose to drop the common currency.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.9 percent after slumping to its weakest since early April on Wednesday.

Vietnam shares closed 2.4 percent higher with Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp gaining 4.8 percent and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam climbing 4 percent.

The benchmark stock index fell 7.5 percent this month, in its second consecutive monthly drop. 

Malaysian shares closed 1.2 percent higher, but fell 6.9 percent for the month in their biggest monthly drop since October 2008.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd rose 1.8 percent and DiGi.Com Bhd climbed 5.2 percent.

Indonesian shares closed 0.5 percent lower with Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk Perusahaan Perseroan PT declining 2.2 percent and United Tractors Tbk PT shedding 4.7 percent.

The central bank expects the rupiah's exchange rate to average in a range of 13,800 to 14,100 per dollar for all of 2018 and 2019, new Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Thursday.

This came a day after the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in two weeks to stem capital outflows and support the fragile rupiah.

So far in 2018, the rupiah's average exchange rate has been 13,713 to the dollar, according to Bank Indonesia (BI) data.

Singapore shares erased gains towards the end of the session and closed 0.5 percent lower. Jardine Matheson Holdings fell 2.9 percent, while United Overseas Bank Ltd was down 2.8 percent.

For the month, Indonesian shares dropped 0.2 percent, in their fourth straight monthly drop, while Singapore fell over 0.5 percent.    

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