March 12, 2018 / 10:08 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise as quicker U.S. rate hike fears recede after jobs data

    * Risk appetite returns after U.S. nonfarm payrolls data
    * Singapore gains 1.6 pct, most in Southeast Asia
    * Thailand ends higher for first time in nine sessions

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Monday, tracking Asian peers, after chances of the U.S. Federal
Reserve hiking interest rates four times this year dimmed
following data that showed jobs jumped and wage growth slowed in
February.
    Inflation worries faded on Friday after U.S. data showed
nonfarm payrolls jumped by 313,000 jobs last month, but the
annual growth in average hourly earnings slowed to 2.6 percent
after a spike in January.
    The slowdown in wage growth tempered speculation that the
Federal Reserve would project four rate hikes - or dot plots -
at its policy meeting next week, instead of the current three.
    Asia shares ex-Japan climbed 1.3 percent,
heading for a third straight session of gains.
    "I think the latest data points are positive for markets. We
are starting to see a move back to risky assets like equities,"
said Joel Ng, a research analyst at KGI Securities in Singapore.
    "We are positive on equity markets... the earnings growth is
positive, dividends are rising. All these are contributing to
better prospects for equity markets in 2018."
    In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares rose 1.6 percent
following a gain of 0.2 percent last week.
    Conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd rose 3
percent, extending gains into a third session after results last
week showed profit jumped more than 50 percent.
    "You can see that there is growth in most of its business
segments like Jardine Pacific and Jardine Motors," said KGI
Securities' Ng.
    Malaysian shares rose 0.9 percent, with CIMB Group
Holdings Bhd contributing the most to the index's
gain.
    The country's banks will continue to perform well in 2018,
Moody's said in a report on Monday.
    Philippine shares climbed 1 percent after ending the
previous week about 1 percent lower.
    Ayala Corp rose 1.2 percent after reporting a jump
of more than 16 percent in net income attributable for 2017.

    Thai shares closed higher for the first time in nine
sessions as financials and energy stocks gained. PTT Pcl
 rose 4.5 percent, while Siam Cement PCL gained
2.4 percent.
    Indonesian shares climbed over 1 percent, helped by
financials and consumer discretionary stocks. Bank Central Asia
 rose 1.4 percent and was the top contributor to the
index.
        
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS:  CHANGE ON DAY
    
  Market             Current   Previous close    Pct Move
  Singapore          3540.19   3485.57           1.57
  Bangkok            1800.32   1775.37           1.41
  Manila             8453.5    8372.51           0.97
  Jakarta            6500.686  6433.322          1.05
  Kuala Lumpur       1861.22   1843.92           0.94
 Ho Chi Minh         1126.29   1123.41           0.26
                                                 
  Change on year                                 
  Market             Current   End 2017          Pct Move
  Singapore          3540.19   3402.92           4.03
  Bangkok            1800.32   1753.71           2.66
  Manila             8453.5    8558.42           -1.23
  Jakarta            6500.686  6355.654          2.28
  Kuala Lumpur       1861.22   1796.81           3.58
  Ho Chi Minh        1126.29   984.24            14.43
 
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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