Jakarta goes against trend

THE Jakarta stock market edged up to close at this year's record high yesterday, bucking the trend in other Asian markets which closed mainly lower to mixed due to profit-taking.

Bullish sentiment in banking shares inspired activity on the exchange and more counters closed higher in fairly active trading, brokers said.

''Buying interest was very strong in the banking sector, particularly on Bank Internasional Indonesia. This helped push trading in other counters,'' one broker said.

The official index closed at this year's record high of 393.61, up from Monday's 390.18. SYDNEY AUSTRALIAN shares closed lower as investors took their profits following the market's recent bull run, and awaited some major profit results.

Brokers said the market was taking a breather after another post-1987 crash high on Monday, while offshore markets were weaker and gold bullion prices slightly easier.

''It was a good consolidation day - the market is just waiting on upcoming profit results and these should be reasonable,'' said a broker.

The All Ordinaries Index ended 8.6 points lower at 1,924.2.

National turnover was 254 million shares worth A$407.8 million. TOKYO SHARE prices closed mixed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with the Nikkei Average gaining and the Tokyo Stock Price Index (TOPIX) losing.

The Nikkei ended 17.7 points higher at 20,431.84 while the broader-based TOPIX finished 1.87 points lower at 1,642.31.

Turnover rose moderately to about 170 million shares in slow trading, as many investors sat on the sidelines in the absence of incentives, market sources said.

Investors were waiting for an additional package of economic recovery measures to be hammered out by the Government, brokers said.

The contents of the package, expected to be adopted next month, were not clear yet, they said, adding that they hoped it would include a cut in the official discount rate. KUALA LUMPUR SHARE prices closed mixed after an active trading session dominated by second-and third-line stocks, brokers said.

A late surge in several blue chips, including utility stocks Tenaga Nasional and Telekom Malaysia, pushed the Composite Index up 0.21 point to 805.47. It earlier hit an intra-day low of 801.12.

Brokers said interest would continue to focus on lower-priced and speculative stocks, as quality issues consolidated after an earlier surge. But activity might slow down ahead of the holidays at the weekend.

Turnover swelled to 449.3 million shares from 365.4 million on Monday, while gainers outpaced losers by 187 to 154. SINGAPORE PRICES closed lower on profit-taking but were off intra-day lows as retail investors shifted some buying to cheaper stocks.

Hong Kong-based institutions were particularly absent due to volatility in the Hong Kong market.

Hong Kong stocks closed sharply lower, hit by falls in property shares.

''Institutions were quiet. There seems to be some influx of new retail buying,'' a trader said.

The Straits Times Industrial Index fell 9.62 points to 1,954.87 but off the day's low of 1,945.53. TAIPEI STOCKS finished below 4,000 points in slow trade as players lacked buying interest. Brokers expected a downward consolidation to continue.

The Weighted Index rose 11 points in early trade but ended 29.2 points down at 3,977.37. Turnover was NT$13.66 billion.

Investors were conservative after the end of the ruling Nationalist Party's congress as they thought the Government might no longer want to support the market. SEOUL SHARES closed sharply lower in lethargic trade as profit-taking undermined the recently volatile market.

Brokers said a financial squeeze on companies worsened as short-term finance firms were reluctant to extend credit.

The Composite Index ended 12.03 points lower at 715.03.

A total of 20.36 million shares, worth 298.33 million won, changed hands. WELLINGTON PROFIT-TAKING in Telecom led the market down, with the NZSE-40 Capital Index closing off 24.51 points at 2.002.86.

Volume was NZ$69.4 million. MANILA SHARE prices shattered records in early trade but retreated towards the close due to profit-taking, dealers said.

The Composite Index hit a high of 1,803.82 points before easing back to end at 1,793.52, down 2.53 points from Monday's record close. BANGKOK THE SET Index dropped 5.67 points to 943.83, with only five billion baht worth of shares traded.

Losers outnumbered gainers by 201 to 46, with 74 stocks unchanged.

Trade was active in several big counters such as Siam Cement, which rose 16 baht to 518 baht, Bangkok Land, down one to 102, and Thai Airways International, down 0.50 to 46.75.

The Chinese share prices are provided by Telerate. All other prices are provided by Reuter.