SE Asia Stocks-Most up after U.S. data; investors await Yellen speech
By Aparajita Saxena May 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks edged up on Friday, in line with other markets in Asia after positive U.S. data, while investors awaited revised U.S. first-quarter GDP data and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen at an event later in the day. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent to a two-week high, after U.S. data on Thursday showed durable goods orders, pending home sales and initial jobless claims coming in strong, while capital goods orders and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey were weak. Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.39 percent, heading for its third session of gains, with financials leading the rise. "The chances of a Fed rate hike are being supported by economic data coming out of the United States and the market is expecting a higher percentage of rate hike in June," a Singapore-based analyst said. "The gains, therefore, are coming from financial stocks which tend to gain from rate hikes. Other sectors are flattish and will remain so as long as the scenario on the Fed rate hike and Britain's exit of EU doesn't become clear in June." DBS Group Holdings was among the top percentage gainers, with a rise of 1.11 percent, while UOB Holdings increased 0.72 percent. The Philippine index gave up earlier gains to trade marginally lower at 7,374.66, led by power and energy sectors. Earlier in the day, it rose as much as 0.7 percent with Globe Telecom, the country's largest telecommunication services provider, up 2.16 percent. "We expect a continuation of Thursday's correction to retest initial support of 7,300," Regina Capital said in a note. Thailand rose for a fourth session, led by healthcare stocks, while Indonesian shares oscillated between gains and losses. "We expect the JCI today has the potential to ease on lack of global catalysts and profit-taking in sectors that have strengthened so far this week," BNI Securities said in a note. For Asian Companies click; STOCK MARKETS Change at 0504 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2784.15 2773.31 0.39 Bangkok 1408 1401.64 0.45 Manila 7374.66 7376.38 -0.02 Jakarta 4792.526 4784.565 0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1633.03 1631.09 0.12 Ho Chi Minh 606.98 604.34 0.44 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2784.15 2882.73 -3.42 Bangkok 1408 1288.02 9.32 Manila 7374.66 6952.08 6.08 Jakarta 4792.526 4593.008 4.34 Kuala Lumpur 1633.03 1692.51 -3.51 Ho Chi Minh 606.98 579.03 4.83 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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