SE Asia Stocks - Mostly weaker; Thailand near 3-mth low
March 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were down on Thursday, with Thailand hovering near its three-month low hit on Tuesday, as escalating tensions in the Middle East and losses on Wall Street dented investor sentiment. Risk appetite was hit from news Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters who have tightened their grip on the southern city of Aden. Thailand's SET index had lost 0.1 percent by midday, led by financials. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index was down 0.1 percent, Malaysian stock index traded marginally lower, and Vietnam's benchmark VN Index eased 0.4 percent, led by blue-chips including energy stocks. Weakness in regional currencies with Malaysia's ringgit and Indonesia's rupiah down on corporate dollar demand, also weighed on stocks. The Philippine peso eased ahead of the central bank's policy meeting later in the day when the authority is expected to keep interest rates unchanged. The Philippine stock index recovered from early losses and had gained 0.3 percent by midday. Singapore's key stock index outperformed other markets in the region with a 0.5 percent gain. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0632 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3435.79 3419.02 +0.49 Kuala Lumpur 1818.57 1819.10 -0.03 Bangkok 1510.86 1512.80 -0.13 Jakarta 5402.91 5405.49 -0.05 Manila 7856.07 7836.34 +0.25 Ho Chi Minh 558.94 560.93 -0.35 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in COLOMBO; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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