SE Asia Stocks - Indonesia weak amid fuel price concerns; Thai index eases
BANGKOK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares extended losses to an over-one-week low on Tuesday as investors weighed in the risk of changes to the government's fuel subsidy, while profit-taking pulled the Thai benchmark off the previous session's highs. Jakarta's composite index fell for a third day, trading down 0.4 percent at its lowest since Aug. 18. Banking and cement stocks, including Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Indocement, were among those actively traded. The market was concerned about domestic fuel prices as president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is likely to meet with current president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Wednesday to discuss a fuel subsidy plan, brokers said. "The news of a possible fuel price hike triggered profit-taking on concerns of a short-term spike in inflation," said Andri Zakarias, an analyst with BNI Securities. "There are reports of Joko Widodo meeting president Yudhoyono tomorrow and the market has heard comments about the incoming government wanting the fuel increase to happen before it takes office in October," Andri said. Thai key SET index was flat near midday. Shares of airport operator Airports of Thailand fell almost 1 percent after Monday's rally to a record high, that helped bring the SET to a near-15-month high in the previous session. Shares of builder Italian Thai Development rose 3 percent in strong volume as the new government's infrastructure spending plan lifted the prospects of the domestic construction industry, brokers said. "The 2.4-trillion-baht worth of mega infrastructure projects waiting to be implemented will be the key factor to drive economic growth from next year onward, which will also provide a boost to foreign investor confidence," said Krungsri Securities. Shares in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines were little changed, in line with other Asian stock markets. Investors in Asia increasingly expect the European Central Bank to expand liquidity as early as next week to boost the sagging euro zone economy - just as the U.S. Federal Reserve plans to end its bond-buying drive. In Vietnam, the benchmark VN Index was up 0.62 percent, lifted by property firm Vingroup that surged on its ex-rights date. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0517 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 445.16 445.28 -0.03 Singapore 3328.40 3330.28 -0.06 Kuala Lumpur 1862.36 1862.31 0.00 Bangkok 1563.21 1563.13 +0.01 Jakarta 5163.44 5184.96 -0.41 Manila 7134.22 7133.09 +0.02 Ho Chi Minh 629.74 625.88 +0.62 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy in JAKARTA; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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