SE Asia Stocks-Mark time ahead of US jobs data
By Aparajita Saxena Sept 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets marked time on Friday ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. Economists polled by Reuters expect the U.S. economy to have added about 180,000 jobs in August, wages to nudge up and for overall unemployment rate to dip to 4.8 percent. Analysts said that a payrolls reading of around over 200,000 could even prompt the Federal Reserve to consider raising rates at its next meeting in three weeks time, whereas under 100,000 would push back expectations of a rate rise into 2017. There is a 36 percent chance that the rate hike would happen in September, but the fact is that the Fed usually doesn't like to raise rates before the November presidential election, so it may happen in December, said Grace Aller, head of research at AP Securities in Manila. "The movement of the U.S. markets tonight will dictate the movement in the (Asian) markets next week." Thai shares closed 1.2 percent lower after declining as much as 1.5 percent to their lowest in nearly a month, dragged down by healthcare and energy stocks. For the week, they eased 1.8 percent. Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl, the country's largest hospital operator, lost about 3.8 percent after it cut its full-year revenue growth target to 8-10 percent from 11-12 percent due to lower-than-expected growth in the first half. Singapore shares fell to their lowest in two months, battered by telecom stocks such as Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, StarHub Ltd and M1 Ltd Telecom stocks lost ground after Australia's TPG Telecom and two local firms submitted expressions of interest to the Singapore telecommunications regulator in an auction of radio airwaves later this year that is aimed at establishing a fourth mobile operator. Philippine shares rose 0.4 percent, snapping seven session of losses, and posted their fourth straight weekly loss. Vietnam was closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2803.92 2816.47 -0.45 Bangkok 1521.48 1539.71 -1.18 Manila 7807.42 7773.31 0.44 Jakarta 5353.461 5334.547 0.35 Kuala Lumpur 1671.79 1670.55 0.07 Change this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2803.92 2882.73 -2.73 Bangkok 1521.48 1288.02 18.13 Manila 7807.42 6952.08 12.30 Jakarta 5353.461 4593.008 16.56 Kuala Lumpur 1671.79 1692.51 -1.22 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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