SE Asia Stocks-Most fall back; Malaysia, Indonesia recover
BANGKOK, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets retreated on Tuesday, in line with broader Asia, with recent weak economic data keeping investors on the edge, but Malaysia and Indonesia recovered amid a rebound in battered blue chips and regional currencies. Asian shares struggled to stay positive as a semblance of calm returned to Chinese stocks, though more wild swings appeared likely given the uncertain global outlook for economic growth and interest rates. In Bangkok, the key SET index fell 0.4 percent by midday, after Monday's 1.9 percent slide, partly reflecting domestic fund selling and weak inflation data. The downward trend in core inflation suggested that weak domestic demand persisted in the economy, DBS Group Research said in a report. Several brokers said they expected limited Thai stock falls. "We see limited downside risk for the SET following a 2 percent drop in the index yesterday while most institutional investors would have adjusted their portfolios yesterday," said Krungsri Securities in a report. Stocks in Singapore and Vietnam gave up early small gains, while stocks in the Philippines was slightly higher. Among bright spots, Kuala Lumpur composite index rose 0.6 percent after Monday's 2.3 percent drop while Jakarta composite index advanced 1 percent, recouping most the losses on the day before. Indonesia's rupiah led gains in Asian currencies, with inflows seen ahead of a government bond sale later in the day. Malaysia's ringgit rose along with higher local stocks. Malaysia's Petronas Chemicals Group jumped 5 percent, among actively traded stocks, with trading volumes of the overall market down 29 percent of a full day average over the past 30 days. In Jakarta, foreign investors led buyers of actively traded banks, including Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Mandiri. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0702 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2828.51 2835.97 -0.27 Kuala Lumpur 1663.14 1653.37 +0.59 Bangkok 1258.57 1263.41 -0.38 Jakarta 4570.64 4525.92 +0.99 Manila 6830.64 6833.42 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 570.88 574.41 -0.66 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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