Trading mixed; upbeat U.S. jobs data raises rate hike concerns

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JAKARTA (Nov 7): Southeast Asian stock markets were trading mixed Friday as investors reacted to signals the European Central Bank would take more policy action if needed to boost a struggling euro zone economy while cautiously waiting for nonfarm payrolls data from the U.S due later in the day.

    
"If the payroll data tonight shows significant improvement, investors are concerned that the Fed may raise rates earlier than expected," said Andri Zakarias, an analyst with BNI Securities in Jakarta.
    
The number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell more than expected last week, data showed on Thursday. The government is expected to report Friday that nonfarm payrolls advanced 231,000 last month after rising 248,000 in September, according to a Reuters survey of economists.
    
Singapore stock index rose 0.2 percent, while the Malaysian index was up 0.1 percent. Thailand was trading rangebound with a focus on stocks that have been added or deleted from MSCI's indexes, said Phillip Securities in a note on Friday.
    
Thailand's Delta Electronics Capital PCl, an electronics manufacturer and distributor, jumped 12 percent after the stock was added to the MSCI Global Standard index.
    
Central Plaza Hotel PCl, a hotel operator, fell 2.1 percent after it was removed from the MSCI Global Small Cap index.
    
Stocks in Jakarta posted the biggest decline in the region as the timing of a fuel price increase remained unclear.

"The recent GDP data was bad while the uncertainty in the fuel price hike remains, which led to a correction in the index," Zakarias said.
    
The Philippines stock index fell 0.2 percent.
    

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on 0504
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3297.74       3290.96       +0.18
 Kuala Lumpur       1833.32       1831.98       +0.07
 Bangkok            1579.99       1850.77       -0.05
 Jakarta            5009.29       5034.23       -0.50
 Manila             7226.06       7236.63       -0.15
 Ho Chi Minh         601.57        597.85       -0.62