SE Asia Stocks -Malaysia poised for worst drop in 23 months; oil & gas stocks weak

lunes 1 de diciembre de 2014 02:09 GYT

BANGKOK, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Malaysia's benchmark index was
headed for its worst drop in almost 23 months on Monday as
Petroliam Nasional's plan to cut capital expenditure
hit oil and gas shares while falling oil prices triggered
selloffs in energy stocks across the region.
    Oil fell more than $2 a barrel to a five-year low in Asian
trade on Monday, extending a steep sell-off after OPEC decided
not to cut production last week, keeping markets well supplied.
    Kuala Lumpur's composite index was down 2.3 percent,
on course for its biggest single-day fall since Jan 21, 2013,
having hit 1,778.24 during the session, its lowest since Oct.
    Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) said late on Friday that it
will cut capex for next year by 15-20 percent due to falling oil
prices, a move analysts said would hurt earnings of Malaysian
oil and gas services firms relying on Petronas jobs.   
    Among top losers, shares of Sapurakencana Petroleum
 plunged 13.9 percent and shares of UMW Oil and Gas
Corporation slipped 15.2 percent. 
    In Bangkok, shares of the country's biggest energy firm, PTT
, were down 3.7 percent, while those of its energy
explorer unit PTT Exploration and Production fell 4.1
    The Thai SET index edged up 0.1 percent, trimming
most its early gains. Airline stocks outperformed the broader
market, led by a 3 percent gain in shares of budget carrier Nok
Airlines amid expectations of lower fuel costs.
    Bangkok-based Maybank Kim Eng Securities expected crude oil
prices in the world market to stay low for a while, benefiting
Asian economies and increasing the chance for looser monetary
policy, it said in a report.
    "Although the energy sector will still be depressed by
plunging oil prices, domestic play-related sectors will benefit
from the downward trend in oil prices," it said.
    Data showed Thailand's annual headline inflation fell to a
five-year low of 1.26 percent in November, slightly less than
expected, due to falling oil prices and giving the central bank
leeway to keep interest rates low to support the
    Energy and resource shares were among those actively traded
elsewhere, with Singapore's oilfield service provider Ezion
Holdings Ltd sliding  11.3 percent and Indonesia's
coal miner PT Bumi Resources Tbk down 9 percent.
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 Change at 0543 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3335.56       3350.50       -0.46
 Kuala Lumpur       1778.90       1820.89       -2.31
 Bangkok            1596.69       1593.91       +0.17
 Jakarta            5156.09       5149.88       +0.12
 Manila             7333.68       7294.38       +0.54
 Ho Chi Minh         570.34        566.58       +0.66
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additonal reporting by
Yantoultra Ngui in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Sunil Nair)