SE Asia Stocks-Most indexes fall ahead of U.S. payrolls data
May 6 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday, led by Singapore, as cautious investors awaited direction from U.S. payrolls data while concerns over global economic growth persisted in the wake of weak data from China. Singapore's Strait Times Index fell more than 1.1 percent to a more than two-month low led by financials. "Investors are awaiting announcement of the nonfarm payrolls report later today," Singapore-based NetResearch Asia said in a note. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, posting the biggest gain in more than a year, although its four-week average, often seen as a better gauge of the underlying trend, still stood near a four-decade low. Investors are already concerned over the slower pace of expansion last month in China's services sector, compared with March, which added to worries over China's disappointing manufacturing data and downgrades on growth and inflation forecast by the European Commission. The Philippine stock index fell 0.5 percent while Malaysia's was down 0.04 percent. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's VN index was up 1 percent, boosted by financials on upbeat earnings results. Markets in Indonesia and Thailand were closed on Friday for a holiday. SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0506 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2734.59 2767.81 -1.20 Manila 6963.27 6999.75 -0.52 Kuala Lumpur 1644.35 1645.09 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 607.63 601.51 1.02 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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