SE Asia Stocks-Down as China woes spook markets; energy shares hit
BANGKOK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines suffered their worst drop in more than four months on Thursday, as trade in Chinese shares was halted following a sell-off, while weak oil prices put pressure on energy stocks. Singapore's Straits Times Index, Thailand's benchmark SET index and the Philippine composite index finished down almost 3 percent each, their biggest single-day fall since Aug. 24. Trading volume in Singapore was 2.2 times the 30-day average. The heavy sell-off was partly due to stock sales programmes by proprietary funds and hedge funds, an equities dealer in Singapore said. "It was the reaction that affected Singapore. In the case of most funds, if they invest cross-country and cannot sell in China to raise money, then they will have to sell it elsewhere," the dealer said. The Thai bourse said foreign investors sold shares worth a net 1.5 billion baht ($41.35 million), a fourth straight session of sales this year. The Thai baht hit its weakest since Oct. 6 amid continuous foreign selling. Bank of Thailand assistant governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul said the weakening baht was largely in line with the trend in regional currencies, and there were no signs of panic in the market. Among the worst-hit energy shares, Thai PTT Exploration and Production plunged 10 percent, Philippine Energy Development Corp shed 7.4 percent and Malaysia's Sapurakencana Petroleum dropped 7.3 percent. After China witnessed a fall in the yuan, global shares tumbled for the sixth session on Thursday, oil prices fell to near 12-year lows, and Shanghai shares tumbled 7 percent, igniting fears of competitive devaluations across Asia. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2729.91 2804.27 -2.65 Kuala Lumpur 1655.13 1667.97 -0.77 Bangkok 1224.83 1260.04 -2.79 Jakarta 4530.45 4608.98 -1.70 Manila 6618.88 6813.90 -2.86 Ho Chi Minh 565.36 574.57 -1.60 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2729.91 2882.73 -5.30 Kuala Lumpur 1655.13 1692.51 -2.21 Bangkok 1224.83 1288.02 -4.91 Jakarta 4530.45 4593.00 -1.36 Manila 6618.88 6952.08 -4.79 Ho Chi Minh 565.36 579.03 -2.36 ($1 = 36.2800 baht) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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