By Sameer Manekar
Oct 24 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks hit a six-week high on Thursday ahead of the central bank's key rate decision, while Singapore shares rose on hopes of a revival in economic growth in the city-state.
Indonesian stocks .JKSE rose as much as 0.8% and were on track for a 10th straight session of gains.
Bank Indonesia (BI) is expected to cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points later on Thursday, according to a Reuters poll, as the central bank looks to shore up an economy struggling to maintain its growth trajectory.
"BI will probably cut (its) policy rate again given external resilience, waning growth momentum and lacklustre credit growth," Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients.
Financials were the biggest gainers on the index, with Bank Central Asia BBCA.JK advanced 0.7% to a record high, while Bank Mandiri BMRI.JK gained 2.5%.
Singapore's Straits Times index .STI added 0.9%, after posting its biggest decline in two weeks in the previous session.
Monetary Authority of Singapore chief Ravi Menon in an interview to Bloomberg said the city-state may be a few quarters away from a recovery as the current cycle bottoms out toward the end of the year and into next year.
He also added that the MAS had a fair amount of space on the monetary policy front without having to think about quantitative easing.
The central bank had eased its policy for the first time in three years earlier this month after it narrowly dodged recession in the third quarter.
Financials and industrials were the biggest gainers, with heavyweights DBS Group Holdings DBSM.SI and Jardine Matheson Holdings JARD.SI rising 1.3% and 2.8%, respectively.
Thailand's benchmark .SETI traded sideways, but climbed as much as 0.4% to a one-week high in early trade. Markets were closed on Wednesday for a holiday.
Index heavyweight PTT Exploration and Production PCL PTTEP.BK gained 3% and Electricity Generating PCL EGCO.BK added 3.2%.
Philippine stocks .PSI and the Vietnam bourse .VNI were marginally up, while Malaysian shares .KLSE inched lower.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0436 GMT
Ho Chi Minh
Change so far in 2019
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(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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