September 1, 2017 / 10:21 AM / in a year

SE Asia Stocks-Rise; Thai index posts best weekly gain in over 18 mths

    By Chandini Monnappa
    Sept 1 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Thailand and Vietnam
ended higher on Friday, as  chances of a rate hike by the U.S.
Federal Reserve dimmed following data that showed annual
inflation in the United States advanced at its slowest pace
since late 2015.
    The Fed's preferred inflation measure edged up 0.1 percent
in July, increasing by the same margin for three straight
months, while data on Thursday also showed U.S. consumer
spending rose slightly less than expected.
    Inflation remains stubbornly low even as the labour market
is near full employment, a conundrum for the Fed. 
    The nonfarm payrolls report, due later in the day, is the
last before the Fed's next policy meeting and may influence the
timing of its rate hike.
    In Southeast Asia, Thai shares closed 0.1 percent
higher, driven by financials and telecom stocks.
    Mobile operator Advanced Info Service finished
up 1.6 percent, its highest in more than one month. Kasikornbank
Pcl climbed 1.5 percent.
    The index posted its third straight weekly gain, adding 2.7
percent on week, the best since February 2016. 
    Thai consumer prices rose for a second straight month in
August, but a lower rate of inflation is giving its central bank
ample room to keep monetary policy loose to support the economy.

    Vietnam closed at its highest in more than three
weeks, with consumer stocks accounting for half the gains on the
    Vietnam Dairy Products JSC ended the day 2.1
percent higher, while Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp
gained 1.4 percent. 
    For the week, the index climbed 2.2 percent, its best weekly
gain since January.
    Markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia
 and the Philippines were closed on Friday for
local holidays.

For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on day                                           
  Market              Current     previous close  Pct Move
  Bangkok             1618.42     1616.16         0.14
  Ho Chi Minh         788.73      782.76          0.76
  Change on year                                  
  Market              Current     End 2016        Pct Move
  Bangkok             1618.42     1542.94         4.89
  Ho Chi Minh         788.73      664.87          18.60

 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
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