SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Singapore rebounds on property stocks
JAKARTA, April 4 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Monday, in line with other Asian indexes after a strong U.S. jobs report on Friday failed to change the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates only once this year, if at all. Singapore's Strait Times Index rose 0.6 percent, rebounding from a 0.8 percent fall on Friday when it closed at its lowest level since March 10. Property developers in Singapore were the biggest gainers. City Developments Ltd led the market with a 2.9 percent gain and closed at its highest since Sept 9, 2015. Singapore home prices fell at a lower-than-expected rate, indicating resilience in the property market, broker Maybank Kim Eng said in a note. A recent reversal in interest rates should also support property prices, the broker added. A report on Friday showed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month, while another showed U.S. factory activity expanded in March for the first time in six months, helping ease concerns about a slump in the global activity. But, the upbeat reports were offset by Fed Chair Janet Yellen saying last week the central bank would proceed cautiously in raising rates. "Employment remains the strongest and more resilient pillar of the U.S. economic recovery. Still, the report is unlikely to be a game changer and the Fed will most likely wait for further evidence that the economy is on a solid path of growth before thinking about raising rates again," BIMB Securities said in a note. Malaysia gained 0.86 percent. Gaming company Genting Malaysia Bhd was the top gainer, ending up 3.6 percent at its highest close since Aug 28, 2014. The company said on Friday it would participate as manager of a U.S. gaming resort. Indonesia's composite index eked out a 0.14 percent gain amid expectations that inflation would fall as the government lowered fuel price this month. Consumer goods company PT Unilever Indonesia rose 0.8 percent. Shares of property firm PT Agung Podomoro Land Tbk shrunk 10 percent after the government's anti-graft agency linked the company's executive to a corruption investigation. The Philippines stock index gained 0.13 percent. Thailand's SET Index edged down 0.3 percent, while the Vietnam index fell 0.47 percent. For Asian Companies click: SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev close Pct move Singapore 2835.35 2818.49 0.60 Kuala Lumpur 1725.24 1710.55 0.86 Bangkok 1400.27 1400.72 -0.03 Jakarta 4850.17 4843.186 0.14 Manila 7254.53 7245.13 0.13 Ho Chi Minh 555.82 558.43 -0.47 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct move Singapore 2835.35 2882.73 -1.64 Kuala Lumpur 1725.24 1692.51 1.93 Jakarta 4850.17 4593.008 5.60 Manila 7254.53 6952.08 4.35 Ho Chi Minh 555.82 579.03 -4.01 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Anand Basu and Savio D'Souza)
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