SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish ahead of U.S. payroll data

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 02, 2016 11:00 hrs

By Sindhu Chandrasekaran Dec 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were flat to lower on Friday following lacklustre U.S. and European markets and ahead of the release of the U.S. payrolls data later in the day and the constitutional referendum in Italy on Sunday. Investors are waiting for the payrolls report for confirmation the economy continues to strengthen, with an eye on an expected hike in benchmark interest rates by the Federal Reserve at its meeting on Dec. 13-14. "What happened in the United States was not unanticipated as the U.S. market had been on the rise for the past several weeks. So, this fall was not enough to upset the momentum of oil and gas-dependent economies like Malaysia and Indonesia," said Syed Kifni, a research analyst at MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd. A sharp decline in technology stocks pulled both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 indexes into the red on Thursday. Oil prices slipped on Friday as some investors opted to cash out after Brent touched a 16-month high on Thursday, with optimism over this week's OPEC-Russia accord on cutting output giving way to questions on the "sticking point" of implementing the deal. Singapore shares fell 0.2 percent, heading for their first drop in nine sessions, with consumer staples leading the decline. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd dropped 1.1 percent. The FTSE Straits Times Index was on track for its highest weekly gain since the week ended on Sept. 9. Vietnam shares were down 0.5 percent after two consecutive sessions of gains, dragged down by industrials with Faros Construction Corp shedding 2.6 percent. Indonesia rose 0.2 percent, heading for a fourth straight session of gains, helped by financials. Indonesian shares have climbed 1.7 percent so far this week, on track for their highest weekly gain since the week ended on Sept. 23. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: change as of 0438 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2922.57 2928.58 -0.21 Bangkok 1509.85 1512.38 -0.17 Manila 6852.38 6864.87 -0.18 Jakarta 5207.806 5198.755 0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1627.91 1626.44 0.09 Ho Chi Minh 663.44 666.54 -0.47 Change this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2922.57 2882.73 1.38 Bangkok 1509.85 1288.02 17.22 Manila 6852.38 6952.08 -1.43 Jakarta 5207.806 4593.008 13.39 Kuala Lumpur 1627.91 1692.51 -3.82 Ho Chi Minh 663.44 579.03 14.58 (Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; additional reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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