SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Singapore, Thailand hit 1-month peak
By Anusha Ravindranath Oct 6 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, following stronger Asian peers, as sentiment was upbeat on encouraging economic data from the United States. Data released on Wednesday showed that activity in the world's largest economy's services sector boomed to an 11-month high in September. However, growing optimism about the U.S. economy raised bets that the Federal Reserve might hike rates in December. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 percent. Singapore shares climbed to their highest in a month, aided by gains in financials, the biggest constituent of the index, and industrial stocks. "I think data from the United States overnight and a rise in oil prices boosted investor sentiment," said Ong Kian Lin of RHB Securities Singapore Pte Ltd. "Market conditions definitely look quite peaceful now." Oil prices had jumped overnight to hit their highest since June. Although they dipped on Thursday, prices still remained near more than three-month highs. Thai stocks rallied for a fourth straight session, touching their highest in a month during the session. Energy shares and consumer non-cyclicals were among the big gainers. Thailand's economic recovery has been on track amid steady interest rates, its central bank chief said, suggesting that policy easing is not expected for the time being. "We have decided to hold policy rates constant for quite some time now because the policy rate has been quite low and the economic recovery has been on the path that we had expected," he said. Malaysian shares posted their third session of gains, while the Philippines ended marginally lower. The Jakarta Composite Index fell for a second day, dragged down by telcos and consumer cyclicals. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2885.22 2880.69 0.12 Bangkok 1513.86 1509.92 0.26 Manila 7620.16 7639.79 -0.26 Jakarta 5409.344 5420.648 -0.21 Kuala Lumpur 1666.73 1662.92 0.23 Ho Chi Minh 687.32 687.04 0.04 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2885.22 2882.73 0.09 Bangkok 1515.69 1288.02 17.68 Manila 7620.16 6952.08 9.61 Jakarta 5409.344 4593.008 17.77 Kuala Lumpur 1666.73 1692.51 -1.52 Ho Chi Minh 687.32 579.03 18.70 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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