March 12, 2018 / 4:36 AM / 7 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise as pace of U.S. rate hikes seen slowing after jobs data

    * Risk appetite returns after U.S. nonfarm payrolls data
    * Singapore gains most in Southeast Asia
    * Thai shares rise for first session in nine

    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 annual
growth in average hourly earnings slowed to 2.6 percent after a
spike in January.
    The pullback in wages tempered speculation 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 1.1 percent,
their third session of gains.
    On Friday, the three major U.S. indexes rose more than 1.5
percent. 
    "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.
    In Southeast Asia, Singapore's benchmark rose as much
as 1.9 percent, following gains of 0.2 percent last week.
    Conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd rose 
as much as 3.4 percent, extending gains 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 Joel Ng
of KGI Securities. 
    Malaysian shares rose about 0.7 percent, with CIMB
Group Holdings Bhd, up 1.4 percent, contributing the
most to the index gains.
    The country's banks will continue to perform well in 2018, a
Moody's report showed on Monday.
    The Philippine index rose 1.1 percent, after ending
the previous week about 1 percent lower. 
    SM Investments Corp rose 1.5 percent.
    Thai shares climbed for the first session in nine as
financials and energy stocks gained. PTT Pcl was 1.9
percent higher.
    Indonesia's benchmark was up, with financials and
consumer discretionary stocks helping the index higher. Bank
Central Asia rose 1.3 percent.
    Indonesia has capped the price of domestic coal for two
years.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0350 GMT
  Change on the day                                     
  Market               Current      Previous    Pct Move
                                    close       
  Singapore            3537.01      3485.57     1.48
  Bangkok              1789.42      1775.37     0.79
  Manila               8463.84      8372.51     1.09
  Jakarta              6470.523     6433.322    0.58
  Kuala Lumpur         1856.78      1843.92     0.70
 Ho Chi Minh           1131.97      1123.41     0.76
                                                
  Change on year                                
  Market               Current      End 2017    Pct Move
  Singapore            3537.01      3402.92     3.94
  Bangkok              1789.42      1753.71     2.04
  Manila               8463.84      8558.42     -1.11
  Jakarta              6470.523     6355.654    1.81
  Kuala Lumpur         1856.78      1796.81     3.34
  Ho Chi Minh          1131.97      984.24      15.01
 


 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
  
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