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

Tuesday, June 05, 2018, 09:26 GMT+7

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.   

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