SE Asia Stocks-Weak on energy shares; Malaysia at 3-year low
BANGKOK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets retreated on Monday as investors offloaded energy shares after a fall in oil prices to near six-year lows, with the Malaysian index sliding to a more than three-year low in line with the depreciating ringgit. The Kuala Lumpur composite index traded down 1.5 percent at 1,572.64, the lowest level since June 2012. Shares of Sapurakencana Petroleum Bhd dropped nearly 11 percent, the biggest percentage loser on the index. The index had plunged 23.5 percent in U.S. dollar term so far this year, Asia's worst performer. The ringgit fell more than 1 percent on Monday to stay near its 1998 pre-peg lows on an extended selloff in local stocks and bonds. Key support levels for the index were seen at 1,570 and 1,530, said Affin Hwang Capital in a report. "This week, we expect the FBMKLCI index to continue its downtrend due to China Yuan volatility, softer ringgit, a dip in commodity price and the growing signals of the impending hike in Federal Reserve interest rates," the broker said. Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.7 percent after a second straight gain on Friday with shares of Ezion Holdings 8.3 percent lower after weak quarterly earnings and a brokerage downgrade. The Philippine main index declined 0.9 percent, led down by Petron Corp. However, the Thai SET index edged higher. Shares of airport operator Airports of Thailand gained 2.1 percent, extending the rebound last week, overshadowing losses in energy firm PTT, which was down almost 1 percent. "The SET Index is poised to recover further on Monday. Local institutional flows may continue to support the market as valuations have been low enough to trigger tactical buying," broker KGI Securities said in a report. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index edged down 0.16 percent at the break on Monday, on track for the fifth consecutive fall with big-cap shares mixed. The Indonesian stock market was closed for a public holiday, reopening on Tuesday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0538 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3092.36 3114.25 -0.70 Kuala Lumpur 1572.64 1596.82 -1.51 Bangkok 1416.66 1413.92 +0.19 Manila 7344.13 7408.44 -0.87 Ho Chi Minh 588.06 589.03 -0.16 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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