SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia at four-month high; energy shares rise with global oil
BANGKOK, March 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed on Monday as optimism about U.S. jobs data and a rise in oil prices lifted sentiment in Asia, with Malaysian benchmark touching a more than four-month high in line with a rise in the ringgit. Kuala Lumpur composite index traded up 0.6 percent, earlier climbing to its highest since Oct. 26, 2015. Top gainers included shares of oil and gas company Sapurakencana Petroleum in line with global oil prices. The ringgit hit a 7-1/2-month high, with other regional currencies rising, following data in the United States on Friday showing U.S. employment gains surged in February. The Thai SET index was up about 1 percent, climbing at one point to the highest since Nov. 24, 2015. Investors bought energy shares such as energy explorer PTT Exploration and Production sending its shares up 5.5 percent. Maybank Kim Eng Securities said the SET could rise to 1,395-1,400. "Positive investment sentiment such as the Nymex price recovering to above $35 per barrel last Friday and surplus liquidity in the global financial system will support the SET," the broker said in a report. Stocks in Vietnam extended gains for a fifth day, with energy shares such as PetroVietnam Gas leading the way. Stocks in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines drifted slightly into negative territory, taking a breather after strong gains last week. Asian shares as measured by MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit two-month highs also reflected a flurry of reassurances from Chinese leaders that the economy would remain on sound footing. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0715 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2833.25 2837.00 -0.13 Kuala Lumpur 1702.15 1692.49 +0.57 Bangkok 1392.94 1379.53 +0.97 Jakarta 4840.88 4850.88 -0.21 Manila 6871.83 6899.07 -0.39 Ho Chi Minh 579.05 573.65 +0.94 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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