February 6, 2017 / 4:42 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Inch higher as softer dollar supports, Fed rate hike chances dim

By Suhail Hassan Bhat
    Feb 6 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged
higher on Monday, with prospects of a rate hike next month by
the U.S. Federal Reserve  dimming as data showed wages barely
rose, softening the dollar and lending support to emerging
    Nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 jobs, the largest gain
in four months, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday, but
wages increased by only three cents, suggesting that there was
still some slack in the labor market. 
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, dropped 0.2 percent. 
    "Due to aggressive comments by (U.S. President Donald) Trump
on currency devaluation of China, Japan and Germany, the value
of the U.S. dollar is on a falling trend. A weaker dollar means
less pressure on emerging markets going forward," said Taye
Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.   
    "Investors are going to take another look at emerging market
     Singapore shares rose 0.5 percent, helped by
financials, with DBS Group Holdings gaining 1.4
percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp up 1 percent.
    Indonesia rose for a fourth straight session, with
Bank Mandiri (Persero) and Bank Central Asia 
up 2.7 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
    Indonesia's annual economic growth in the fourth quarter
dipped below 5 percent again, weaker than expected and a second
straight quarter of slowdown, the statistics bureau said on
    Philippines moved up half a percent, led by
industrials and real estate.
    Real estate conglomerate Ayala Land Inc added 1.3
percent, while SM Investments Corp gained 0.9 percent.
    Thai shares rose 0.2 percent, while Malaysia 
was up 0.2 percent. Vietnam was slightly lower. 
    The central banks of Thailand and the Philippines are
meeting this week for their first policy meeting of the year.
    Asian shares crept ahead on Monday, with MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up
0.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2 percent.

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  STOCK MARKETS                                    
  Change at 0351                                   
  Market          Current      Previous    Pct Move
  Singapore       3055.95      3041.94     0.46
  Bangkok         1585.73      1582.95     0.18
  Manila          7264.26      7226.7      0.52
  Jakarta         5380.919     5360.767    0.38
  Kuala Lumpur    1688.33      1685.01     0.20
  Ho Chi Minh     699.87       700.35      -0.07
  Change this                              
  Market          Current      End 2016    Pct Move
  Singapore       3055.95      2880.76     6.08
  Bangkok         1585.73      1542.94     2.77
  Manila          7264.26      6840.64     6.19
  Jakarta         5380.919     5296.711    1.59
  Kuala Lumpur    1688.33      1641.73     2.84
  Ho Chi Minh     699.87       664.87      5.2

 (Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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