* Singapore up as much as 1% * Thailand hits over 9-month high By Soumyajit Saha July 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, with Singapore leading gains, as investors cheered U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments bolstering prospects of an interest rate cut. Powell promised to closely monitor economic data to see its implications on growth and inflation, adding that he "would act as appropriate to sustain the expansion". The chairman also warned that the simmering Sino-U.S. trade war posed a threat to economic growth, in what seemed to be a confirmation of wide expectations of a rate cut later this month. "Equally telling was the fact that he downplayed a strong payrolls report, saying that there is no sign of overheating in the job market at home" Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients. Singapore's index led the gains in the region, buoyed by rise in financials. Shares of lenders DBS Group Holdings Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd rose as much as 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively. The Thai benchmark hit a more than nine-month high, as appointment of a cabinet under Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha soothed investor sentiment. "For now, the end of the political stalemate is positive news for the local markets," ING group said in a note to clients. The Philippine index was buoyed by gains in real estate stocks. SM Prime Holdings Inc and Ayala Land Inc were up as much as 1.2% and 2%, respectively. The Malaysian index was flat, as gains in telecom stocks offset losses in consumer sector counters. Palm oil producers such as Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and IOI Corporation Bhd dragged the index, affected by a fall in palm oil prices in the first half of the year due to slow demand. The Indonesian benchmark advanced slightly, helped by gains in financials. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0329 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3362.66 3340.42 0.67 Bangkok 1743.17 1739.43 0.22 Manila 8105.98 8078.21 0.34 Jakarta 6415.645 6410.683 0.08 Kuala Lumpur 1677.8 1678.97 -0.07 Ho Chi Minh 975.65 973.65 0.21 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3362.66 3068.76 9.58 Bangkok 1743.17 1563.88 11.46 Manila 8105.98 7,466.02 8.57 Jakarta 6415.645 6,194.50 3.57 Kuala Lumpur 1677.8 1690.58 -0.76 Ho Chi Minh 975.65 892.54 9.31 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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