SE Asia Stocks-Rise ahead of U.S. jobs data, Yellen's speech
By Justin George Varghese June 3 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose in quiet trade on Friday as investors awaited U.S. jobs data due out later in the day for clues on an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Monday would indicate whether the central bank would raise rates at its policy-setting meeting on June 14-15. "There is quietness now in South East Asia stock markets ahead of the data coming out today. Everybody is watching out for the speech on Monday to derive positive signs from it," said Joseph Roxas, an analyst with Manila-based Eagle Securities. Markets expect U.S. employment data due at 1230 GMT to show a non-farm payroll increase of about 164,000 and 0.2 percent rise in average wage earnings in May. "However, for today, I feel markets are just consolidating at the end of the week, with unsubstantial volumes, which may have to do with stabilised oil prices," Roxas said. Brent oil prices held around $50 a barrel following an OPEC meeting that failed to agree on output targets, but which was seen as supportive as Saudi Arabia pledged not to flood the market with more fuel. Singapore's Straits Times Index was headed for a second straight session of gains, with oil and gas stocks leading the rise. Rig-builders Sembcorp Industries rose 1.4 percent, while Keppel Corp Ltd was up 1.3 percent. Indonesian shares rose 0.2 percent, helped by gains in consumer cyclicals and energy stocks. "Expect to see muted investor activity ahead of U.S. jobs data tonight," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities Indonesia, adding S&P's decision to hold the market's current rating on Thursday had limited impact on equities. Malaysian stocks extended gains into a third straight session, led by telecom services and financials. Sentiment was also boosted after data released earlier in the day showed Malaysia's exports in April grew 1.6 percent from a year earlier on higher shipments of manufactured goods and palm oil. Philippine stocks recovered from the previous session's losses, while Thailand rose for a second consecutive session. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0509 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Close Move Singapore 2809.47 2795.09 0.51 Bangkok 1429.35 1424.06 0.37 Manila 7505.67 7464.59 0.55 Jakarta 4843.783 4833.225 0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1635.49 1630.53 0.30 Ho Chi Minh 622.7 623.37 -0.11 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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