SE Asia Stocks-Most indexes fall on global growth concerns
May 5 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday, led by the Philippines, as weak economic data and corporate earnings results added to concerns over global economic growth. Activity in China's services sector expanded at a slower pace in April than in March, a private survey showed on Thursday, although firms resumed adding staff after a rare decline the previous month. That has added to concerns raised by disappointing manufacturing data from China and growth and inflation forecast downgrades by the European Commission. The Philippine stock index fell 1.2 percent, the Thai SET index 0.5 percent and Malaysia's 0.6 percent. Singapore's Strait Times Index dropped 0.6 percent to a more than two-month low. Singapore-based NetResearch Asia said in a note that investors were staying on the sidelines ahead of the U.S. jobs report scheduled for Friday. "There was little news overnight to turn sentiment which is now decidedly cautious given weak corporate earnings and economic data," NetResearch said. "We don't expect any change in sentiment today given Wall Street's overnight dip." Mixed data on the services sector in the United States also weighed on sentiment. The vast U.S. services sector expanded in April as new orders and employment accelerated, offering hope economic growth would rebound after a sluggish first quarter, data showed on Wednesday. But other figures showed private employers hired the fewest workers in three years, sparking concerns the all-important payrolls report might also disappoint. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's VN index rose 0.7 percent, boosted by banking and real estate stocks. Indonesia's markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday. SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0604 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2755.59 2773.07 -0.63 Bangkok 1390.7 1397.87 -0.51 Manila 7004.44 7081.86 -1.09 Kuala Lumpur 1648.42 1657.58 -0.55 Ho Chi Minh 603.32 599.07 +0.71 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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