SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Malaysia fall to over two-week lows
BANGKOK, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly fell on Tuesday, with Singapore and Malaysia extending losses to more than two-week lows as investors cut holdings in risky assets amid weak global sentiment and oil company shares retreated in line with softening oil prices. Singapore's index was down 1.4 percent after a slide on Monday, to 3,281.08, while Malaysia's benchmark eased 1 percent, heading for its fifth straight loss, both hovering around the lowest level since Dec. 19. Shares of Keppel Corporation and Sembcorp Marine each lost about 4 percent on the Singapore bourse. In Kuala Lumpur, shares of UMW Holdings and Petronas Chemicals Group led among losers. Brokers forecast a further decline in the near term. Affin Hwang Capital in Kuala Lumpur said in a report it expected the bearish market sentiment to drag stock prices lower on the Bursa Malaysia index. KGI Securities in Bangkok said energy shares would face selling pressure with oil extending losses on Tuesday to touch fresh 5-1/2-year lows, and expect investors to track the European Central Bank meeting later in the month for cues. "Global market sentiment continued to worsen due to uncertainty about Greece's political outlook, which may result in the country exiting the euro zone," it said in a report. "In our view, the next major event that may revive market sentiment will be the ECB meeting on January 22 when the central bank may announce a full QE program," it said. The Thai SET index traded down 0.9 percent, with top energy shares such as PTT and PTT Exploration and Production sliding further from the previous session. Jakarta's composite index was down almost 1 percent. Stocks in the Philippines recovered from earlier losses and closed in positive territory, with shares of Alliance Global among outperformers due to buying by foreign investors, stock exchange data showed. Vietnam gained almost 1 percent as buying in banking and consumer goods equities reversed the market position after some early offloads. Asian shares slumped on Tuesday partly due to increasing speculation that Greece might be kicked out of the euro zone if a left-wing party that has vowed to end austerity measures and erase a big portion of its debt wins in the Jan. 25 elections, as widely expected. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0852 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3281.08 3328.28 -1.42 Kuala Lumpur 1716.58 1736.62 -1.15 Bangkok 1469.70 1483.25 -0.91 Jakarta 5180.46 5219.99 -0.76 Manila 7277.74 7276.63 +0.02 Ho Chi Minh 549.66 544.45 +0.96 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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