SE Asia Stocks-Most higher; Philippine heads for 7th straight closing high
BANGKOK, April 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday as energy shares gained on recent jumps in oil prices, with the Philippine index heading for a record closing high for the seventh straight day after inflation data suggested policy rates would remain steady. The Philippine main index traded up 0.68 percent at 8,108.23. It earlier hit 8,136.97, surpassing Monday's sixth straight record close of 8,053.74. Data early on Tuesday showed the Philippines' annual inflation came in slower than expected in March, giving the central bank more leeway to keep its policy rates steady. The Philippine central bank's governor said on Tuesday the monetary policy remained appropriate but it was ready to make adjustments if needed as it monitored commodity prices and changes in market sentiment. Energy related shares led among top percentage gainers across exchanges, including Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional , Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production and Philippine Energy Development Corporation. Oil prices jumped more than 5 percent on Monday as traders reassessed how quickly Iran might increase exports after a preliminary nuclear deal and anticipated that a months-long rise in U.S. crude inventories may be slowing. Oil futures eased on Tuesday after Goldman Saches said prices needed to remain low for months to achieve a slowdown in U.S. output growth. Malaysia's main index was up 0.57 percent, on track for a fourth straight gain, Singapore was up 0.48 percent, having hit 3,476.20, the highest since December 2007 and Indonesia added 0.71 percent, extending Monday's gain. Thai SET index rose 0.89 percent, resuming after a market holiday on Monday. Brokers in Bangkok said they expected further market upside on the day. "Much lower-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls could cause the Fed to delay raising interest rates, which would result in funds flowing into emerging stock markets," strategists at broker Krungsri Securities said in a report. "Yesterday's steep jump in oil prices should provide positive sentiment for energy and petrochemical stocks," the report said. Asian stocks followed a positive lead from Wall Street to rise on Tuesday, while the dollar held onto its gains after rebounding against the euro and yen on higher U.S. Treasury yields. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0441 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3469.54 3452.91 +0.48 Kuala Lumpur 1853.45 1842.94 +0.57 Bangkok 1549.74 1536.05 +0.89 Jakarta 5519.19 5480.03 +0.71 Manila 8108.23 8053.74 +0.68 Ho Chi Minh 544.28 542.97 +0.24 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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