SE Asia Stocks-Rise on strong US jobs data; Thailand outperforms
By Justin George Varghese Aug 8 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Monday, with Thailand outperforming other markets in the region, after strong U.S. jobs data raised the possibility of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. Thailand's stock market index rose to its highest since April 2015 after Thais voted in a referendum to accept a new military-backed constitution that would pave the way for an election next year. The vote should reduce political uncertainty in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy and encourage incoming foreign fund flows, analysts said. The index closed 1.6 percent higher and posted its fourth session of gains, led by telecom services and financials. Shares of Kasikornbank rose 5 percent, while convenience store chain CP All advanced 2.4 percent. Asian shares rose, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hitting its highest since Aug. 11 last year, as investors' hunt for yield gathered momentum against a backdrop of a recovering U.S. economy and ultra-easy easy global monetary policy conditions. Singapore shares surged as much as 2 percent in their biggest intraday percentage rally since June 30, with financial and consumer services stocks driving the gains. They closed 1.5 percent higher. DBS Group Holdings Ltd rose 1.4 percent, while Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd gained 3.4 percent. The Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.7 percent and the Philippine index gained 0.3 percent, with both markets helped by gains in financials. Vietnam shares rose 0.3 percent, led by utility stocks Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation and Pha Lai Thermal Power Joint Stock Company. For Asian Companies click; STOCK MARKETS Change on 1000 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2870.78 2828.17 1.51 Bangkok 1542.26 1518.69 1.55 Manila 7993.58 7970.35 0.29 Jakarta 5458.979 5420.246 0.71 Kuala Lumpur 1672.68 1664.04 0.52 Ho Chi Minh 629.46 627.39 0.33 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2870.78 2882.73 -0.41 Bangkok 1542.26 1288.02 19.74 Manila 7993.58 6952.08 14.98 Jakarta 5458.979 4593.008 18.85 Kuala Lumpur 1672.68 1692.51 -1.17 Ho Chi Minh 629.46 579.03 8.71 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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