SE Asia Stocks-Most weaker, profit-taking takes toll
BANGKOK, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly retreated on Thursday as investors cashed in on recent gainers amid a cautious mood ahead of a European Central Bank meeting, but upbeat consumer confidence data lifted selected consumer stocks in Thailand and Indonesia. Consumer confidence in Thailand rose for a fourth month in August, suggesting consumption may improve, while Indonesia's consumers were more optimistic in August due to an increase in government job openings. In Bangkok, shares seen as beneficiaries of rising consumption such as Kasikornbank outperformed. Profit-taking hit Airports of Thailand which touched a record high on Wednesday amid optimism about the outlook on the tourism sector and expectations of a possible relaxation of martial law in some tourist areas. The broader SET index was down 0.3 percent at 0805 GMT after four days of gains. Speculation on the ECB's stimulus measure, which could lead to foreign fund inflows, lifted sentiment across Southeast Asia this week. Strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities in Bangkok expected profit-taking to further hit share markets. "If the ECB injects the new stimulus measure, we expect the sell on fact in worldwide markets, especially the EU and U.S. markets. If the ECB launches no new measure, markets will be disappointed, leading to market correction," they wrote in a report. Indonesia's key index inched down 0.1 percent after hitting a record closing level of 5,224.14 the previous day. Shares of United Tractors fell after four days of gains, while telecoms and banks such as Telkom Indonesia and Bank Negara Indonesia led among gainers. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0805 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 446.26 447.36 -0.25 Singapore 3338.55 3348.77 -0.31 Kuala Lumpur 1864.04 1864.87 -0.04 Bangkok 1578.76 1583.27 -0.28 Jakarta 5216.93 5224.14 -0.14 Manila 7204.11 7206.02 -0.03 Ho Chi Minh 640.22 640.75 -0.08 * 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 Kaweewit Kaewjinda and Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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