August 8, 2016 / 5:06 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Higher on upbeat U.S. jobs data; Thai shares hit 16-mth high

By Justin George Varghese
    Aug 8 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Monday
after stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data raised expectations
of a rate increase by the Federal Reserve, with Thailand hitting
a 16-month high after Thais voted to accept a new
military-backed constitution.
    July nonfarm payrolls rose by 255,000 and the June increase
was revised upward to 292,000, the U.S. Labor Department said.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast July payrolls would
increase by 180,000. 
    The 'yes' vote in the Thai referendum is expected to pave
the way for an election next year, and should reduce political
uncertainty in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy and
encourage incoming foreign fund flows, analysts said.
    Thai stocks rose as much as 1.4 percent to their highest
since April 2015, led by telecom services and financials.
    Kasikornbank was up 4.2 percent, while Advanced
Info Service Pcl rose 2.25 percent.
    "Investors are reacting confidently as it is clear that the
election will happen next year," said Sumek Chantrasuriyarat, an
analyst with Thailand-based KGI.
    A stronger jobs report more or less curbs heightened
concerns about the U.S. economy, and also raises the likelihood
of a rate hike this year, said Vishnu Varathan, a senior
economist with Mizuho Corporate Bank in Singapore.
    Singapore surged as much as 1.45 percent, driven by
financial stocks Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd
 and DBS Group Holdings Ltd.
    The Jakarta Composite Index rose as much as 0.7
percent, driven by financial stocks PT Bank Mandiri (Persero)
Tbk and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk
    The Philippine index was up marginally, on gains in
financial stocks Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and
Megaworld Corporation.
    Vietnam rose as much as 0.4 percent, led by utility
stocks Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation and Pha
Lai Thermal Power Joint Stock Company. 
    Asian shares rose, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.3
percent, just hovering below a one-year high hit last week.
For Asian Companies click;  
 STOCK MARKETS                                      
 Change on 0436 GMT                                 
 Market                   Current   previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore                2864.22   2828.17         1.27
 Bangkok                  1534.67   1518.69         1.05
 Manila                   7977.44   7970.35         0.09
 Jakarta                  5442.738  5420.246        0.41
 Kuala Lumpur             1665.8    1664.04         0.11
 Ho Chi Minh              628.17    627.39          0.12
 Change so far this year                            
 Market                   Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore                2864.22   2882.73         -0.64
 Bangkok                  1534.67   1288.02         19.15
 Manila                   7977.44   6952.08         14.75
 Jakarta                  5442.738  4593.008        18.50
 Kuala Lumpur             1665.8    1692.51         -1.58
 Ho Chi Minh              628.17    579.03          8.49

 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by
Biju Dwarakanath)
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