SE Asia Stocks -Down on energy shares; Singapore weak ahead of holidays
BANGKOK, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday, led down by energy-related stocks, with Malaysian index sliding to a near one-week low and Singapore's index drifting lower in range-bound trade ahead of a four-day weekend. Top losers in Malaysia and Singapore included shares of electric utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd and oil and gas service firm Keppel Corp as global oil prices hovered near multi-month lows. Kuala Lumpur composite index was down 1.4 percent at the lowest level since July 31, an underperformer in the region. A fall in the ringgit to a fresh 17-year low helped cast gloom over investment sentiment. Singapore's key Straits Times Index traded a tad lower after early modest gains. The city-state bourse will be closed from Friday through Monday for public holidays. "Some diehards could still be hoping for a National Day rally of sorts but we think this is unlikely given the lack of positive factors and current cautious mood," said Singapore-based broker NRA Capital. Rising risk aversion in the region also reflected the backdrop of a possible interest rate hike in the United States. Asian shares were mostly down after comments from a Fed governor boosted confidence in the economy and fanned expectations of a interest rate hike in September. Indexes in Thailand and Indonesia retreated while the Philippines declined for the first time in seven trading days. Vietnam's key index was down 1 percent. It traded higher in early hours, with gains in some big-caps cushioning falls in most other shares. For Asian Companies click: SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Changes at 0805 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3187.92 3191.39 -0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1701.78 1725.56 -1.38 Bangkok 1431.96 1436.36 -0.31 Jakarta 4820.78 4850.53 -0.61 Manila 7589.95 7662.55 -0.95 Ho Chi Minh 601.04 607.08 -0.99 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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