June 7, 2019 / 9:59 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Inch higher on rate-cut hopes, US jobs data awaited

    * Singapore snaps four consecutive weekly losses
    * Philippines posts 3rd straight weekly gain
    * Thailand up 2.1% this week, biggest since late Jan

    By Niyati Shetty
    June 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets closed
slightly higher on Friday on prospects of global central banks
easing monetary policy to prop up economic growth, but trading
volumes across the region were low with China and Hong Kong
markets closed for holidays.
    After top Federal Reserve officials took a more dovish
stance this week, investors around the globe are focussing on
the timing of a rate cut by the U.S. central bank.
    Investors are now focused on the U.S. employment report
later in the day for further cues about the health of the
world's largest economy.     
    "Should the U.S. ease monetary policy, perhaps some of the
headwinds building up can be assuaged, and the long global
expansion cycle can be prolonged, goes the (market's) thinking,"
DBS Bank said in a note.
    Meanwhile, China's central bank chief, Yi Gang, told
Bloomberg in an interview that there was "tremendous" room for
fiscal and monetary policy easing if the bitter trade war with
the United States worsened.
    Singapore stocks gained 0.6%, underpinned by
financials, and snapped four straight weekly falls. 
    DBS Group Holdings Ltd rose 0.6% on Friday and
United Overseas Bank Ltd gained 1.1%. 
    Philippine shares added 0.3% and clocked a third
consecutive weekly gain. Financials and industrials drove gains,
with BDO Unibank Inc and JG Summit Holdings Inc
 adding 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively. 
    Vietnam shares climbed 1.1% for the day but posted a
third weekly loss. Real estate stocks Vinhomes JSC and
Vingroup JSC were among the top gainers on Friday. 
    Thai stocks were flat on Friday, but posted a weekly
gain of 2.1%, the most since late January.
    Earlier this week, Thailand's new parliament confirmed
military junta leader General Prayuth Chan-o-cha as the prime
minister, five years after he seized power from an elected
government while he was army chief.
    With the appointment a major overhang on the Thai market is
removed, DBS Bank said, adding that the market would now focus
on potential stimulus measures to boost the economy in the
second half of the year.
    Indonesian financial markets were closed for a holiday. 
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3166.29   3146.18         0.64
 Bangkok                1653.5    1653.41         0.01
 Manila                 7983.98   7959.86         0.30
 Kuala Lumpur           1649.33   1644.09         0.32
 Ho Chi Minh            958.28    948.21          1.06
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3166.29   3068.76         3.18
 Bangkok                1653.5    1563.88         5.73
 Manila                 7983.98   7,466.02        6.94
 Kuala Lumpur           1649.33   1690.58         -2.44
 Ho Chi Minh            958.28    892.54          7.37
 

 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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