SE Asia Stocks - Mostly steady-to-weaker; Indonesia underperforms
March 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat-to-weaker on Wednesday for a second day on global economic worries after Chinese factory activity came in weaker than expected with Indonesia underperforming the region on a fall in the rupiah. Jakarta's composite index was down 0.7 percent at 0736 GMT due to a weaker local currency. The weak rupiah against the U.S. dollar is still a concern, said Andri Zakarias, an analyst with BNI Securities, adding that foreign selling pressure is still seen in the stock market. The rupiah fell 0.47 pct on Wednesday, after having risen to its highest in more than two weeks on Tuesday, partly as uncertainty over the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes lifted most emerging Asian currencies. Activity in China's factory sector slid to an 11-month low in March as new orders shrank, a private survey showed, indicating the economy may need more policy stimulus. Vietnam's VN Index . was down over 1.1 on track for a third straight session of losses, led by PetroVietNam Gas , the country's top firm by market value. In Manila, the main index recovered from early losses and was 0.1 percent up, but the gains were capped by investor concerns over the monetary policy meeting on Thursday. "Investors are taking precautions before the monetary policy meeting tomorrow and we also expect the trend to continue due to window dressing during the quarterly end," said Luis Limlingan, head of sales at Manila-based Regina Capital. "There are also concerns over the U.S. Fed rate hike timing." In Bangkok, the SET index was up 0.2 percent, a day after it touched its lowest level since January. Singapore's key index headed for a flat session for a third day, while Malaysia was up 0.2 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0759 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3420.22 3413.26 +0.20 Kuala Lumpur 1818.21 1814.04 +0.23 Bangkok 1519.83 1514.45 +0.36 Jakarta 5405.40 5447.65 -0.78 Manila 7836.34 7814.03 +0.09 Ho Chi Minh 560.93 567.43 -1.15 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in COLOMBO and Fransiska Nangoy in JAKARTA; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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