SE Asia Stocks-Singapore posts best gain in over 2 weeks; inflows lift others
BANGKOK, March 3 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, with Singapore posting its biggest gain in more than two weeks and Philippine index touching over two-month high, as upbeat data on U.S. jobs lifted sentiment in Asia. The key Straits Times Index jumped 2.2 percent, the best single day rise since Feb. 15. Better risk sentiment in the region prompted investors buying risky assets again despite data showing activity in the city-state's factories fell in February. Thai stocks notched up about 1 percent gain in a choppy session as weak consumer confidence data brought in some profit taking. Indonesia, where consumer confidence remained optimistic in February, gained slightly. Philippine composite index advanced for a third day to the highest close since Dec. 28, with inflows continuing for a third day, stock exchange data showed. Vietnam erased early losses to finish the day in positive territory. Malaysia, bucking the trend, was slightly down a day after the index closed at a more than two-month closing high on inflows. Malaysia's exports in January are expected to have grown at a faster pace than the previous month. The data is due out on Friday. Foreign inflows to the region continued this month amid strength in regional currencies, with net inflows of Thai shares on Thursday worth 5.2 billion baht ($147 million) and Malaysia worth 392 million ringgit ($95 million), data showed. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2787.62 2726.96 +2.22 Kuala Lumpur 1688.20 1691.03 -0.17 Bangkok 1379.33 1365.31 +1.03 Jakarta 4844.04 4836.19 +0.16 Manila 6963.44 6882.45 +1.18 Ho Chi Minh 570.39 570.18 +0.04 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2782.62 2882.73 -3.47 Kuala Lumpur 1688.20 1692.51 -0.25 Bangkok 1379.33 1288.02 +7.09 Jakarta 4844.04 4593.00 +5.47 Manila 6963.44 6952.08 +0.16 Ho Chi Minh 570.39 579.03 -1.49 ($1 = 35.5000 baht) ($1 = 4.1300 ringgit) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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