June 4, 2018 / 10:37 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets end higher; Vietnam climbs 2 pct

    * Asia ex-Japan shares hit highest in two-and-a-half weeks 
    * Philippine shares end lower ahead of inflation data 
    * Indonesia's annual inflation rate slowed in May 

    By Mensholong Lepcha
    June 4 (Reuters) - Most southeast Asian stock markets ended
higher on Monday, with Vietnam and Singapore leading the gains,
as robust U.S. jobs data pushed global equities higher and
offset concerns of a trade war between the United States and
rest of the world.   
    U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate
dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, pointing to rapidly
tightening labour market conditions, which could stir concerns
about inflation.
    Asia ex-Japan shares rose 1.3 percent to
their highest since May 17.
    U.S. President Donald Trump's trade and foreign policies are
to take centre stage this week in the upcoming G7 summit in
Quebec, after finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies vented
anger over tariffs on metal imports.
    Vietnam stocks closed 2.1 percent higher to mark a
third consecutive session of gains, bolstered by material and
industrial shares. Vietjet Aviation closed nearly 7
percent higher and Vietcombank ended up about 4
percent.
    Singapore shares snapped three consecutive sessions
of declines to close higher, while the Indonesian shares
ended higher, underpinned by financial and telecommunication
stocks.
    Indonesia's annual inflation rate slowed in May as the
increase in food prices remained modest, data from the
statistics bureau showed on Monday. The headline consumer price
index in May rose 3.23 percent from a year ago, slightly below
the median forecast in a Reuters poll, which had expected a rate
of 3.28 percent. While April's annual rate was 3.41 percent. 

    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
rose 0.9 percent.
    Bucking the trend, Philippine shares shed earlier
gains to end lower, dragged by industrial stocks ahead of
inflation data due on Tuesday.
    Philippine inflation likely accelerated for a fifth straight
month in May, a Reuters poll showed, but analysts were divided
over when the central bank will raise interest rates again. 
    "There are concerns regarding inflation levels," said Manny
Cruz, analyst, Asiasec Equities Inc. "The current economic
account has created some weakness for retailers and consumer
operators."
    Thai shares recovered from previous session's losses
to end higher. Oil and gas producer PTT PCL, Thailand's
biggest company by market cap, closed about 0.5 percent higher. 
    Malaysian shares were largely unchanged. The
country's trade data is due on Tuesday.    
    
    For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0950 GMT
  Change on the day                                          
  Market                 Current       Previous     Pct Move
                                       close        
  Singapore              3467.48       3427.51      1.17
  Bangkok                1721.11       1719.82      0.08
  Manila                 7579.61       7630.26      -0.66
  Jakarta                6014.819      5983.587     0.52
  Kuala Lumpur           1755.17       1756.38      -0.07
  Ho Chi Minh            1013.78       992.87       2.11
                                                    
  Change on year                                    
  Market                 Current       End 2017     Pct Move
  Singapore              3467.48       3402.92      1.90
  Bangkok                1721.11       1753.71      -1.86
  Manila                 7579.61       8558.42      -11.44
  Jakarta                6014.819      6355.654     -5.36
  Kuala Lumpur           1755.17       1796.81      -2.32
  Ho Chi Minh            1013.78       984.24       3.00
 


 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha, additional reporting by Aaron
Saldanha; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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