SE Asia Stocks-Gain on positive U.S. econ data
By Aparajita Saxena May 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Friday, taking a cue from broader Asian shares, as positive U.S. economic data boosted risk appetite and raised expectations of an interest rate increase as early as June. Data out of the U.S. on Thursday showed durable goods orders, pending home sales and initial jobless claims coming in strong, sending the dollar on track for its best monthly performance since November. Sentiment also improved after Group of Seven leaders said in a summit declaration that a British exit from the European Union would be a serious risk to global economic growth, comments that found support from British Prime Minister David Cameron. Financial markets are now looking to the revisions of U.S. first-quarter GDP data and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen at a Harvard University-sponsored event later on Friday. "Asian shares today are basically taking cues from the Western markets. The broader markets are reacting to impending Yellen's speech, but news from the G7 meeting is a more positive stimulus for stocks in general," said Alex Tiu, senior analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc in Manila. "Markets will remain volatile ahead of the June Fed meeting in coming weeks. Investors are cautious, and are on 'wait and see' mode because of the increasing odds of a rate hike. Investors are also keeping a keen eye out for more data from the U.S." Asian shares climbed, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.9 percent to a more than three-week high. Singapore's Straits Times Index closed 1 percent higher, led by financials. The index rose 1.4 percent this week. "The gains in Singapore are coming from financial stocks which tend to gain from rate hikes," a Singapore-based analyst said. DBS Group Holdings closed up 1.4 percent, while UOB Holdings gained 0.9 percent. Indonesia ended in positive territory on Friday and was up 2.2 percent on the week, the biggest weekly percentage gainer in the region. Thai shares rose 0.8 percent, led by financials and energy stocks. The index was up 1.9 percent this week, the second biggest weekly gainer. The Philippine index recovered from losses earlier in the day to end higher, led by telecommunication services. The index rose 1.5 percent this week. Vietnam ended 0.6 percent higher on Friday, but fell 1.1 percent on the week. For Asian Companies click; STOCK MARKETS Change day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2802.51 2773.31 1.05 Bangkok 1412.67 1401.64 0.79 Manila 7411.68 7376.38 0.48 Jakarta 4814.731 4784.565 0.63 Kuala Lumpur 1637.19 1631.09 0.37 Ho Chi Minh 608.11 604.34 0.62 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2802.51 2882.73 -2.78 Bangkok 1412.67 1288.02 9.68 Manila 7411.68 6952.08 6.61 Jakarta 4814.731 4593.008 4.83 Kuala Lumpur 1637.19 1692.51 -3.27 Ho Chi Minh 608.11 579.03 5.02 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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