SE Asia Stocks-Most fall back; energy shares weak
BANGKOK, June 4 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets retreated on Thursday as energy and resources shares tracked global oil prices lower, while consumption-related stocks underperformed the Thai benchmark after a survey showed consumer confidence declined further in May. The Thai SET index was down 0.2 percent at 1,479.23 at midday. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce's survey showed the consumer confidence index fell for a fifth straight month in May due to worries about economic recovery, weak commodity prices, exports and drought. Shares of consumer conglomerate Berli Jucker, among actively traded, dropped 2.2 percent to its lowest since August 2013. Banking shares, among economic proxy, eased 0.1 percent. A comment by Finance Minister Sommai Phasee that there was no need to cut interest rates further, lifted sentiment in banking shares and sent the Thai baht to a one-week high on Wednesday. Bangkok-based strategists at Krungsri Securities expected the SET index to move in a range of 1,470-1,490, citing a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday which will influence oil prices among key factors. Indexes in Malaysia and the Philippines, which staged a mild rebound on Wednesday, edged down. Singapore's key index was a tad higher in rangebound trade, while Indonesia hit a one-month low. Shares of palm plantation and energy firms were among top losers in the region. Malaysian palm oil futures slipped on Thursday amid weak Chinese soy markets and a drop in crude oil prices. Singapore's Golden Agri Resources dropped 2.4 percent and Malaysia's IOI Corporation declined 2.2 percent. Thai energy firm PTT shed 2.1 percent, the third biggest percentage loser on the SET 50 index. Indonesia's Astra Agro Lestari was down 2.7 percent, the second worst performer on Jakarta's liquidity 45 index . In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1 percent as volatile Chinese shares slid and tempered risk sentiment. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0706 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3357.11 3349.84 +0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1744.91 1749.17 -0.24 Bangkok 1479.23 1482.07 -0.19 Jakarta 5112.33 5130.49 -0.35 Manila 7540.69 7561.67 -0.28 Ho Chi Minh 569.25 567.90 +0.24 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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