SE Asia Stocks-Singapore leads regional decline on weak oil market
BANGKOK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday, with Singapore hitting a more than four-year low and the Philippines dropping to a near oversold level, as weakening global oil prices dented sentiment in Asia. Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index traded down 2.6 percent at 2,569.49, the lowest level since October 2011. Shares of energy-related stock Sembcorp Industries Ltd and Keppel Corporation were among top losers. Investors offloaded energy shares across regional exchanges as crude futures slumped again in early Asian trade, with U.S. oil falling to its lowest since September 2003 below $28 a barrel on worries about global oversupply. The Philippines' composite index slid 1.2 percent to 6,280.64, taking the index's 14-day relative strength index (RSI) to 31.5, near an oversold level of 30 or below. Shares of Energy Development Corp dropped 2.4 percent, among top losers, reflecting technical-led as well as short selling. The index has been trading in a tight intraday range so far this week, and broker Regina Capital expects the weak market sentiment to continue. "This indicates indecision between bulls and bears as to the index's trend direction on a month-on-month basis," it said in a report. In Bangkok, shares of large cap oil firm PTT shed 3.8 percent, sending the key SET index nearly one percent lower to the 1,254 level. Broker Phillip Securities has pegged support for the index at 1,250 in the near term. "Volatility in energy shares, overall economic uncertainty and China's stimulus measures would remain key wild cards that could add more volatility to global risk appetite and keep the markets in a cautious mood," it said. Losses in Malaysia and Indonesia were relatively modest while Vietnam was trading flat. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0425 GMT Market Current Previous Close Pct Move Singapore 2569.49 2638.47 -2.61 Bangkok 1254.16 1266.01 -0.94 Manila 6280.64 6357.05 -1.20 Jakarta 4475.29 4491.737 -0.37 Kuala Lumpur 1622.32 1629.22 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 535.49 535.77 -0.05 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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