By Geo Tharappel
Feb 3 Southeast Asian stock markets marked time
on Friday ahead of the release of the U.S. monthly jobs report
that will set the tone for the Federal Reserve's rate hike
Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 175,000 jobs in
January, picking up from the 156,000 jobs added in December,
according to a Reuters survey of economists. The unemployment
rate is expected to be unchanged at 4.7 percent in January, near
a nine-year low.
"A strong reading in the payrolls data above 200,000,
coupled with a rise in wage growth, could put the March 15th
(Fed) meeting in serious contention for a hike despite
uncertainty around the potential flow on effects from (President
Donald) Trump's stated economic policies," said James Woods,
global investment analyst with Rivkin Securities in Sydney.
A quicker pace of rate hikes on the back of strong economic
indicators in the United States is likely to trigger fund
outflows from emerging markets.
Philippine shares declined as much as 0.5 percent to
a two-week low and were headed for a fourth straight session of
falls, weighed down by financial and real estate stocks.
"After rallying since the start of the year, people are just
marking in gains given the still cautious outlook for the
Philippine market," said April Lee-Tan, head of research at
Manila-based COL Financial.
"People are a little concerned about the BPO (business
process outsourcing) sector as to whether (Trump's)
protectionist policies would have some repercussions on demand
Conglomerate Ayala Corp, which has interests in the
banking and BPO sectors, and property developer SM Prime
Holdings Inc were among the top drags.
Vietnam shares were flat after rising as much as 0.7
percent to a nine-year high earlier in the day, with consumer
staples and materials leading the gains.
Vietnam Dairy Products JSC jumped 2.9 percent to
its highest in over two months, while Masan Group Corp,
a conglomerate with interests in food processing and banking,
rose as much as 2.4 percent to its highest in nearly four weeks.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0431 GMT
Market Current prev close Pct Move
Singapore 3036.83 3044.08 -0.24
Bangkok 1577.1 1572.67 0.28
Manila 7200.82 7225.91 -0.35
Jakarta 5362.386 5353.713 0.16
Kuala Lumpur 1679.65 1673.48 0.37
Ho Chi Minh 703.17 703.18 0.00
Change this year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3036.83 2880.76 5.42
Bangkok 1577.1 1542.94 2.21
Manila 7200.82 6840.64 5.27
Jakarta 5362.386 5296.711 1.24
Kuala Lumpur 1679.65 1641.73 2.31
Ho Chi Minh 703.17 664.87 5.76
(Reporting by Geo Tharappel in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Saikat Chatterjee in Hong Kong; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)