SE Asia Stocks-Largely down ahead of U.S. jobs data; Philippines up
By Krishna V Kurup July 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday in line with Asian shares ahead of the key U.S jobs data later in the day, while the Philippines rose slightly on bargain-hunting. The employment report is expected to show solid job creation in June, but worries over the world economy following Britain's vote to leave the European Union and a deepening crisis in Italian banks continue to sour investor sentiment globally. Strong payrolls data is likely to spark fresh speculation of a U.S. rate increase later this year, but it would also trigger a fresh round of currency weakness and likely policy tightening in emerging markets. If the data comes out to be "spectacular", and if global markets continue their upward momentum, then the U.S. Federal Reserve may consider raising rates, probably by the end of the year, which will weaken sentiment in local markets, said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc. Singapore shares fell 0.5 percent, dragged down by oil and gas stocks after a 5 percent fall in global crude prices overnight. Though oil prices recovered in Asian trading on Friday from the two-month lows hit in the previous session, benchmark Brent was in line for its largest weekly decline since January. Keppel Corp Ltd lost nearly 1.8 percent, while Sembcorp Industries Ltd dropped 0.7 percent. Vietnam shares fell 0.4 percent, with energy stocks including Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp leading the losses. After recent gains, "the market may undergo some consolidation", said Nguyen Thanh Lam, deputy research manager of Maybank Kim Eng Securities in Vietnam. 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. Bucking the trend, Philippine shares closed 0.2 percent higher, helped by financial stocks. SM Prime Holdings Inc rose 1.5 percent. Investors were "bargain-hunting", as they saw an opportunity to invest after Thursday's fall, Cruz said. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 percent at 0900 GMT, down nearly 1 percent so far this week. Indonesia was closed on Friday for Eid-al-Fitr. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2847.04 2862.17 -0.53 Bangkok 1455.65 1456.72 -0.07 Manila 7771.52 7753.46 0.23 Kuala Lumpur 1644.54 1650.71 -0.37 Ho Chi Minh 658.68 661.12 -0.37 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2847.04 2882.73 -1.24 Bangkok 1455.65 1288.02 13.01 Manila 7771.52 6952.08 11.79 Kuala Lumpur 1644.54 1692.51 -2.83 Ho Chi Minh 658.68 579.03 13.76 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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