SE Asia Stocks-Fall after ECB; Thai SET lags on week
BANGKOK, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday as disappointment over the European Central Bank's stimulus package dragged down global equities, with the Philippines' key index touching a two-week low and Vietnam's benchmark hitting a near two-month low. The Philippines' key index was down 1.03 percent, sliding at one point to the lowest since Nov. 20. Vietnam's VNI index was off 0.5 percent, earlier hitting the lowest level since Oct. 5. Indexes in Singapore and Thailand reversed Thursday's modest gains, while Malaysia and Indonesia extended their slides for a third day. The region had light trading turnover, which was less than two-thirds of a full-day turnover over the past 30 days. The risks of the divergence in interest rates in the United States and Europe kept investors on the sidelines, according to brokers. Investors in Bangkok cut risk holdings ahead of a three-day weekend. The Thai stock market will be closed on Monday for a public holiday. Thai Union Group shed 3.2 percent after it scrapped a plan to buy U.S. Bumble Bee, while CP All faced more selloffs after Thai market regulator had fined its top executives for insider trading. "Fears of a looming U.S. interest rate rise would continue to overshadow the market until the Federal Reserve meets on Dec. 15-16," broker Phillip Securities said in a report. Thai SET index is on track for a weekly loss of nearly 2 percent, among underperformers in the region. Most other sharemarkets are set to post losses on the week. The European Central Bank eased policy further on Thursday to fight stubbornly low inflation but kept much of its powder dry, disappointing high market expectations for greater stimulus. Market focus also shifted to U.S. nonfarm payrolls to be released later in the day for an indicator of the Fed's move, broker said. Asian shares joined a global markets slump on Friday after the European Central Bank's stimulus package fell well short of markets' high expectations, sending the euro rocketing to its biggest one-day surge in nearly seven years. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0825 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2873.03 2883.89 -0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1669.94 1673.92 -0.24 Bangkok 1335.79 1340.62 -0.36 Jakarta 4510.93 4537.38 -0.58 Manila 6921.93 6994.10 -1.03 Ho Chi Minh 571.62 574.38 -0.48 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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