SE Asia Stocks - Thai index at fresh 7-month low; most others weak
BANGKOK, July 22 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday, with the Thai index hitting a more than seven-month low and Singapore drifting into negative territory, as investors lowered risk holdings in a reporting season amid weak sentiment in Asia. The SET index was down 0.1 percent at 1,445.37, after having fallen to 1,432.58, its lowest since Dec. 16. It had lost almost 3 percent in six successive days to Tuesday amid selloff in banking shares on concerns over the impact of weak economy on loan books while construction shares fell on expectations of possible delays in government projects. The weak sentiment has been due to a combination of poor economic data, banks' warning on asset quality, impact of drought, the downgrade of exports and expectations of a cabinet reshuffle, analyst at SCB Securities said. The broker advised 'buy' for a market rebound as many stocks were oversold, its report said. "The dismissal by the Prime Minister of expected government reshuffle has acted as the last straw ... We were expecting a change in the economic advisory team to bring in advisors which would resume subsidies or stimulus of some form," they said. Singapore's key index edged down 0.4 percent, with Capitaland Mall Trust 1.8 percent lower. The Jakarta composite index was virtually flat on resuming trading, Malaysia's key index retreated from a more than six-week closing high on Tuesday and the Philippines reversed from Tuesday's close of a near four-week high. Vietnam bucked the weak trend as several large-cap shares advanced. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0649 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3358.03 3371.41 -0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1727.26 1736.19 -0.51 Bangkok 1445.37 1447.44 -0.14 Jakarta 4870.80 4869.85 +0.02 Manila 7608.60 7627.96 -0.25 Ho Chi Minh 624.17 616.61 +1.23 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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