SE Asia Stocks-Mostly up; Malaysia, Singapore outperform
Oct 23 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks mostly gained on Thursday, with Malaysia and Singapore outperforming other markets in the region amid mixed signals on the Chinese manufacturing sector. Malaysian shares gained 0.8 percent to their highest in nearly two weeks, led by consumer cyclical stocks like Genting and Genting Malaysia. Shares of Malaysia's second-biggest bank, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, fell after local media reported that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), a key CIMB shareholder, may be forced to cut its stake to push through a planned merger. Singapore's Straits Times Index rose to its highest level since Oct. 9, led by financials, while the Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.4 percent. Asian shares sagged after a retreat on Wall Street and falling crude oil prices rekindled investor anxiety over slowing global growth, while a mixed picture on Chinese manufacturing failed to impress markets. The latest manufacturing read on China did little to allay those concerns. The flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) edged up to 50.4 from a final reading of 50.2 in September, just a hair's breadth from the 50.3 reading forecast by analysts. Bucking the trend, the Philippines share index fell 0.5 percent, while Vietnam dropped more than 1 percent as investors offloaded shares after three days of gains that followed a sharp decline last week. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0752 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3229.94 3202.74 +0.85 Kuala Lumpur 1810.53 1796.22 +0.80 *Bangkok - - - Jakarta 5093.67 5029.34 +0.38 Manila 7116.13 7068.03 -0.53 Ho Chi Minh 595.20 600.55 -1.06 * The Thai stock market is closed on Thursday for a public holiday. Trading will resume on Friday. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in Colombo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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