SE Asia Stocks - Fall as Greek debt worries return; Philippine rate decision eyed
BANGKOK, June 25 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday as investors fretted over the Greek debt talks, with Philippine stocks trimming some of the previous session's gains after weak import data and ahead of a rate decision. The Philippine composite index was down 0.65 percent after advancing 1.2 percent on Wednesday to its highest close in more than three weeks. Selling hit recent gainers such as Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co and Ayala Land Inc before the central bank's release of its decision on the benchmark interest rate, which economists expect to be kept steady. Data released early in the day showed Philippine imports in April fell 12.8 percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop in three months with electronics imports among the falling sectors. In Bangkok, institutional investors bought shares for their mid-year portfolios programme, according to brokers. The benchmark SET index traded down 0.1 percent at 1,516.69, erasing some of its early losses. The index is expected to rise to 1,520 later in the day, said strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities. "Despite the slow pace of growth, the mid-year window- dressing season will have more impact than the quarterly window- dressing season, although Greek risk will return to pressure the market again," they wrote in a report to clients. Stocks in Singapore fell for the first time in five days, Indonesia hovered around a more-than-one-week low, Malaysia reversed from the modest gain on Wednesday and Vietnam fell for a third session. Asian shares and the dollar edged down in Asian trade on Thursday, with investors on ice ahead of a meeting of European Union leaders later in the session as Greece continued last-minute efforts to avert a default. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0511 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3348.61 3351.33 -0.08 Kuala Lumpur 1724.11 1731.68 -0.44 Bangkok 1516.69 1518.26 -0.10 Jakarta 4934.27 4953.52 -0.39 Manila 7593.42 7643.33 -0.65 Ho Chi Minh 586.69 590.02 -0.56 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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