August 31, 2017 / 4:12 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise slightly on upbeat China, U.S. data

    By Chandini M
    Aug 31 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged
up on Thursday, in line with Wall Street and broader Asia, as
upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic news boosted investor
sentiment, even as tensions over North Korea stewed in the
background.
    For the month of August, the Chinese manufacturing sector 
clocked an unexpected growth, with the official Purchasing
Managers' Index released on Thursday standing at 51.7, up from
the previous month's 51.4.
    The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday that its
second estimate of gross domestic product showed that the
economy grew at an annual 3.0 percent in the second quarter, the
quickest in more than two years, thanks to robust consumer
spending and strong business investment.
    In addition, the ADP National Employment Report showed U.S.
private-sector employers hired 237,000 workers in August for the
biggest monthly increase in five months, driving expectations
for a solid U.S. August non-farm payrolls figure.
    "We are just following what happened in the international
markets, although threat from North Korea is waning, I think we
are still waiting to see what actions U.S. might take," said
Mikey Macainag, an analyst with Sunsecurities Inc.
    Meanwhile, tensions between the United States and North
Korea escalated after President Donald Trump dismissed any
diplomatic negotiations via a tweet, saying "talking is not the
answer," a day after the reclusive state fired a ballistic
missile that flew over Japan.
    In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares led the gains
with a rise of 0.4 percent, aided mostly by financials. 
    The city-state's central bank said on Thursday bank lending
in July rose 5.9 percent from a year earlier.
    Index heavyweights United Overseas Bank and
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation were up about 1
percent each.
    "This market is going to continue its bull run, but for now
we are going sideways, just consolidating," Macainag said.
    In August, Singapore shares have shed 1.6 percent so far,
heading for their first monthly decline in eight. 
    Vietnam shares climbed as much as 0.4 percent to
their highest in over three weeks, with real estate company
Vingroup JSC being the biggest boost. 
    For the month, Vietnam shares have declined 0.4 percent so
far and were on track to snap three straight monthly gains.  
    Indonesian shares fell as much as 0.2 percent, hurt
mostly by material and energy stocks. 
    Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk fell 1.6 percent,
while United Tractors Tbk was down 1.2 percent.  
    The Malaysian market was closed for a national holiday.
   
     
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS - Change at 0329 GMT
  STOCK MARKETS                                              
  Change on the day                                          
  Market                 Current    previous close   Pct Move
  Singapore              3277.85    3265.26          0.39
  Bangkok                1613.5     1613.34          0.01
  Manila                 7961.47    7956.73          0.06
  Jakarta                5870.241   5872.506         -0.04
  Ho Chi Minh            779.25     778.65           0.08
                                                     
  Change on year                                     
  Market                 Current    End 2016         Pct Move
  Singapore              3277.85    2880.76          13.78
  Bangkok                1613.5     1542.94          4.57
  Manila                 7961.47    6840.64          16.40
  Jakarta                5870.241   5296.711         10.83
  Ho Chi Minh            779.25     664.87           17.20
 
 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  

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