SE Asia Stocks-Fall on strong US dollar; Malaysia at 1-week low

viernes 25 de marzo de 2016 01:39 GYT

BANGKOK, March 25 (Reuters) - Stocks in Thailand and Vietnam
edged lower on Friday amid a fall in Asia and a strong U.S.
dollar, while Malaysia hit a one-week low after inflation spiked
in February.
    Kuala Lumpur composite index was down 0.5 percent at
1,706.35, the lowest since March 18. It is heading for a modest
0.6 percent decline on the week after three straight weeks of
    Malaysia's consumer price index in February rose
to a seven-year high at 4.2 percent from a year earlier due to
higher costs for food and consumer goods. 
    Public holidays in the region kept investors on the
sidelines, with Malaysia's trading volumes sliding to 20 percent
of a full-day average over the past 30 days and the volumes in
Thailand was about one-third of the average.
    Thai key SET index slid 0.4 percent, but on course
for a weekly gain of 1.2 percent.
    Data in early trade showed Thailand's customs-cleared
exports rose in February from a year earlier, contrary to the
market's expectations for a 14th straight month of contraction.
    "Export growth may recover due to rising exports in gold and
petroleum but overall core growth remains soft and unlikely to
boost SET's sentiment," broker KGI Securities in a report.
    Vietnam's key index was down 0.2 percent on the day,
on track for a weekly loss of about 1 percent, a second
successive week. 
    A recent string of gains in the dollar dented sentiment in
Southeast Asia. Singapore and Indonesia, both
closed on Friday for the Easter holiday, posted a weekly drop of
2 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
    The Philippines, which remained closed on Friday,
trimmed its weekly gain to 0.7 percent in a shortened-trading
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 Change at 0447 GMT
 Market                Current    Prev Close    Pct Move
 Kuala Lumpur          1706.35       1715.53       -0.54
 Bangkok               1399.60       1405.41       -0.41
 Ho Chi Minh            569.38        570.66       -0.22
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)