SE Asia Stocks - Indonesia falls for 2nd day; U.S. jobs data in focus
BANGKOK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks fell for a second straight session on Friday amid political concerns while most other markets in Southeast Asia edged cautiously higher ahead of a key U.S. jobs report. Jakarta's composite index was down 1.3 percent at 4,937.81, the lowest since July 7, on track for a weekly loss of 3.8 percent. The benchmark dropped 2.7 percent on Thursday on news that Indonesia's opposition coalition had won the position of the speaker of the legislature. The news raised concerns that President-elect Joko Widodo may not be able to muster enough support in parliament to push through badly-needed reforms. Among stocks that were hit, Bank Rakyat Indonesia was down 2.7 percent while Bank Mandiri slipped 2.5 percent, with foreign investors net selling the stocks, Thomson Reuters data showed. Investors in Asia awaited the influential U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later in the day. Analysts polled by Reuters expect U.S. employers to have hired 215,000 workers in September, up from a disappointing 142,000 in August. The jobs data could hint at the direction of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates after the European Central Bank on Thursday failed to provide markets with a specific stimulus program for the euro zone's recovery. The market reaction to the lack of stimulus details would be short-lived, brokers said. "Markets will be disappointed on the ECB decision in only this short term. The loosening ECB monetary policy will still benefit over the long run," said strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities in Bangkok. Bangkok's SET index was down 0.6 percent at 1,560.76, an over two-week low, as investors cashed in on recently rallying shares such as PTT. The index is set to end the week 2.5 percent lower. In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recouped early losses and traded up 0.2 percent at 3,243.56, amid technical-led buying. Shares of DBS Group Holdings and Singapore Telecommunications led among gainers. "A fall to support at 3,220 drew some bargain-hunting interest today as the benchmark index managed a technical rebound, probably helped by short-covering ahead of the weekend," broker NRA Capital said in a report. The index is on track for a weekly loss of 1.5 percent, a third consecutive week. Malaysia and the Philippines are both set to end little changed on the week, with the Vietnam index at a weekly gain of 1.4 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0649 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3243.56 3228.71 +0.46 Kuala Lumpur 1842.05 1837.68 +0.24 Bangkok 1560.76 1569.73 -0.57 Jakarta 4937.81 5000.81 -1.26 Manila 7233.04 7196.26 +0.51 Ho Chi Minh 613.08 612.66 +0.07 (1 US dollar = 12,157.0000 rupiah) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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