SE Asia Stocks-Singapore rises on strong economic data, firmer oil

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 17, 2017 11:20 hrs

By Geo Tharappel Feb 17 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks rose on strong economic data, while Thailand gained for a third session on Friday, with both markets boosted by firmer global oil prices on likely further output cuts by producer club OPEC aimed at reducing a supply overhang. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could extend its oil supply-reduction pact with non-members or even apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop to a targeted level, OPEC sources said. Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index rose as much as 0.6 percent, led by gains in financials and industrials. The index was on track to climb 0.4 percent on the week. Offshore oil-rig builder Keppel Corporation Ltd jumped as much as 2.1 percent to its highest since Nov. 2015, while Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd surged 7.1 percent to a near 22-month high. United Overseas Bank Ltd rose as much as 2.1 percent to a more than two-month high. The city-state's economy grew 12.3 percent in the fourth-quarter, beating the government's initial estimate of a 9.1 percent expansion. Exports rose 8.6 percent in January from a year ago. "The doldrums in the services sector has passed... accounting for about two-thirds of GDP and employment, this sector has always been the main driver of the economy... if the services sector turns, the economy turns along with it," DBS Group Research said in a note. Thai shares rose as much as 0.5 percent, but the index was on track to lose 0.4 percent on the week. PTT Pcl, Thailand's largest energy firm, gained up to 0.8 percent. Philippines fell marginally, with index heavyweight PLDT Inc down as much as 1.7 percent. The index was however on track to gain 0.5 percent on the week. "Investors find that the market valuations aren't compelling at this stage..they are on the sidelines," said April Lee-Tan, head of research at Manila-based COL Financial. Indonesian shares fell as much as 0.6 percent to a two-week low, on track for their third straight session of losses, dragged down by consumer discretionary and financial stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS : Change at 0435 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 3109.51 3096.69 0.41 Bangkok 1579.61 1576.05 0.23 Manila 7271.41 7283.25 -0.16 Jakarta 5349.384 5377.998 -0.53 Kuala Lumpur 1710.1 1707.59 0.15 Ho Chi Minh 707.77 709.35 -0.22 Change this year Market Current End 2016 Pct Move Singapore 3109.51 2880.76 7.94 Bangkok 1579.61 1542.94 2.38 Manila 7271.41 6840.64 6.30 Jakarta 5349.384 5296.711 0.99 Kuala Lumpur 1710.1 1641.73 4.16 Ho Chi Minh 707.77 664.87 6.45 (Reporting by Geo Tharappel in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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