SE Asia Stocks-Tepid on China factory activity data; Indonesia up
By Justin George Varghese June 1 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks were sluggish on Wednesday as investors were cautiously optimistic after China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded for the third straight month in May, while Indonesia rose on positive inflation data. China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was unchanged from April at 50.1 last month, but the output sub-index rose, indicating production remains solid despite efforts by the government to curb overcapacity in sectors such as steel and coal. Investors are also keeping a keen eye out for U.S. non-farm payrolls data due on Friday that is expected to show the U.S. economy created 164,000 jobs in May. "Markets have been primarily driven by good Chinese PMI index data and US housing data indicating a stablised investor sentiment," said Grace Aller, an analyst at Manila-based AP Securities. "We expect markets to move sideways until then." U.S. single-family home prices rose more than expected in March, a survey showed on Tuesday. Indonesia recovered from Tuesday's losses as the rate of inflation eased in May to its lowest in more than 6 years. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT gained 1 percent, while Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT rose 2.2 percent. "Investor focus should now shift to key market driving data releases...We expect muted investor action for the remainder of the week," said Taye Shim of Daewoo Securities Indonesia. Indonesia's annual inflation rate eased to 3.33 percent in May, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday. Philippine stocks gained, driven by financials and consumer cyclicals. BDO Unibank Inc gained 2.5 percent, while Bank of the Philippine Islands rose 1.3 percent. Singapore traded flat, while Malaysia fell slightly, its third day of losses, dragged down by financials and industrials. Asian stocks were on a weak footing on Wednesday as a slip in crude oil prices dampened investor appetite for riskier assets. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0537 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2788.28 2791.06 -0.10 Bangkok 1424.21 1424.28 0.00 Manila 7499.34 7401.6 1.32 Jakarta 4842.936 4796.869 0.96 Kuala Lumpur 1625.28 1626 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 618.69 618.44 0.04 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2789.34 2882.73 -3.24 Bangkok 1424.21 1288.02 10.57 Manila 7499.34 6952.08 7.87 Jakarta 4842.936 4593.008 5.44 Kuala Lumpur 1625.28 1692.51 -3.97 Ho Chi Minh 618.69 579.03 6.85 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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