SE Asia Stocks - Most range-bound; Thai banks rebound but asset quality in focus
BANGKOK, July 3 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were range-bound on Friday as investors stayed defensive amid concerns over the Greek bailout talks and weak Chinese shares while Thai banks saw a moderate rebound after the previous day's sell-off. The Thai index eased 0.2 percent at midday. Losses in energy shares such as PTT, which tracked a drop in global oil prices, overshadowed gains in shares of big banks led by Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank. "Near-term sentiment on banks remains negative, while global news flow was slightly cautious overnight," broker KGI Securities said in a report. Asset quality deterioration triggered recent selling in Thai banking shares, KGI said. All big banks noted a deterioration in asset quality, mainly from small and medium enterprises, it said. The SET index was on course for a weekly drop of almost 2 percent, the region's worst performer. Malaysia's key index edged down 0.2 percent, erasing small early gains. Data on Friday showed Malaysia's May exports fell a less-than-expected 6.7 percent from a year earlier, helped by exports to China. Indexes in Indonesia and Vietnam extended gains from Thursday, while Singapore rebounded and the Philippines was virtually flat after small gains over the past two days. Weekly performances were mixed. Vietnam is poised to outperform on the week, with a gain of almost 6 percent, followed by Malaysia's 1 percent and smaller gains in Singapore and Indonesia. The Philippine index was headed for a weekly decline of 0.6 percent. Asian stocks fell on Friday as Chinese stocks plunged and growing caution before Greece's weekend referendum prompted investors to cut risky bets, while disappointing U.S. employment data weighed on the dollar. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0540 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3342.79 3327.84 +0.45 Kuala Lumpur 1729.88 1733.88 -0.23 Bangkok 1489.14 1491.62 -0.17 Jakarta 4957.49 4944.78 +0.26 Manila 7575.72 7578.31 -0.03 Ho Chi Minh 615.44 605.70 +1.61 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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