SE Asia Stocks -Weak on U.S. rate outlook; Indonesia at 5-week lows
BANGKOK, June 8 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, in line with regional currencies, amid concerns about sooner-than-expected U.S. interest rate hikes after upbeat jobs data, while further losses in the Indonesian index made it Asia's worst performer this year. The Jakarta composite index (JCI) shed 1 percent to 5,044.73, the lowest since April 30. Foreign investors led selling in select large caps such as Bank Mandiri and Unilever Indonesia. The U.S. rate hike expectations sent the Indonesian rupiah to a fresh 17-year trough on Monday. Other currencies also fell, including Malaysian ringgit which hit a nine-year low. The benchmark JCI had fallen 5.7 percent from the high of 5,347.13 hit on May 26, reflecting concerns about the impact of rupiah depreciation on corporate earnings. It was Asia's worst performing index, with a year-to-date loss of 3.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur composite index slipped at one point to the lowest since Jan. 13 due to weakness in the ringgit . Energy shares topped among losers in Malaysia with Tenaga Nasional falling 1.3 percent and Petronas Gas 0.8 percent as a fall in global oil prices dented sentiment in the region. Thailand's PTT was down 0.9 percent, Singapore-listed Australia-based oil production company Linc Energy fell 3.9 percent and Philippine Petron Corp was 1.5 percent lower. Investors in the Thai stock market awaited the central bank's interest rate decision on Wednesday, with a Reuters poll showing the Bank of Thailand is expected to leave its policy interest rate steady after two surprise cuts in a row. The SET index was down 0.2 percent at 1,504.64 at midday. Strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities said they were cautious in the near term. "Although the SET went above the 1,500 level, the light trading volume means only a short term technical rebound as economic fundamentals remain fragile," they wrote in a report. "Investors are advised to wait for the BoT's view of the economic growth outlook on June 10," they said. An index of Asian shares extended losses on Monday in part after Chinese imports declined more than expected. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0609 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3327.92 3333.67 -0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1738.58 1745.33 -0.39 Bangkok 1504.64 1507.37 -0.18 Jakarta 5044.73 5100.57 -1.09 Manila 7476.30 7526.70 -0.67 Ho Chi Minh 584.24 578.07 +1.07 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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