SE Asia Stocks-Largely down ahead of U.S. jobs data
By Krishna V Kurup July 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday, while Asian shares were on track to post their biggest weekly loss in three weeks, as investors brace for U.S. jobs data, counting on the resilience of the world's biggest economy to support growth. Ahead of the closely-followed payrolls report later in the day, U.S. data published on Thursday was mostly positive. U.S. private payrolls increased more than expected in June as small businesses ramped up hiring, and fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. While a rebound in payrolls is expected, the unemployment rate is forecast rising to 4.8 percent in June from an 8-1/2-year low of 4.7 percent in May, according to a Reuters survey. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.45 percent at 0357 GMT. Singapore's stock index fell 0.9 percent, dragged down by oil and gas shares after a 5 percent fall in oil prices overnight. Keppel Corp Ltd lost nearly 2.5 percent, while Sembcorp Industries Ltd dropped 1.4 percent. Oil prices recovered in Asian trading from the two-month lows hit in the previous session. Traders said the outlook looked volatile as a glut in refined products and slowing economic growth weighed on markets. Malaysian shares dropped 0.4 percent, with energy stocks Petronas Gas Bhd losing 2 percent and Sapurakencana Petroleum Bhd falling 2.9 percent. Vietnam index lost early gains and was down 0.6 percent. Energy stocks led the fall with Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp losing nearly 3 percent. The market looks "a little overbought right now" and may be due for some consolidation, said Fiachra MacCana, head of research at Ho Chi Minh Securities, adding that the positive effects of increased liquidity and the new government have been priced in at current levels. Vietnam's economic growth in 2016 is expected to slow to 6.2-6.3 percent, as export and industrial output growth is projected to fall short of target, a government official said. The Philippine stocks bucked the trend and edged up 0.17 percent, helped by financial and telecom stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0357 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2837.04 2862.17 -0.88 Bangkok 1451.43 1456.72 -0.36 Manila 7766.48 7753.46 0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1644.8 1650.71 -0.36 Ho Chi Minh 657.01 661.12 -0.62 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2837.04 2882.73 -1.58 Bangkok 1451.43 1288.02 12.69 Manila 7766.48 6952.08 11.71 Kuala Lumpur 1644.8 1692.51 -2.82 Ho Chi Minh 657.01 579.03 13.47 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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