SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down on weak oil; US Fed minutes awaited
JAKARTA, April 5 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were mostly down on Tuesday, tracking global markets as weak oil prices hurt sentiment in the region ahead of the release of minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting. Singapore's main stock index fell 1.2 percent, heading for its lowest close in nearly four weeks, while Thailand's SET index lost 0.9 percent by mid-day. Shares of energy company Sembcorp Industries Ltd in Singapore fell 2.7 percent to their lowest since March 9, while oil and gas firm PTT Pcl in Bangkok lost 1.8 percent. "Asian markets are down due to the falling oil price and investors in the region are also waiting for the FOMC minutes. They are now taking profit ahead of the FOMC," said Andri Zakarias, an analyst with BNI Securities in Jakarta. Oil prices on Tuesday extended losses from the previous two sessions on weakening demand for gasoline and on concerns the global crude glut could persist for some time. Signals were mixed on U.S. policy direction with Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's dovish speech last week contrasting with more hawkish remarks from other central bank policymakers. The Philippine index was down 0.4 percent while Malaysian stocks fell 0.3 percent. Bucking the trend, Indonesia and Vietnam gained 0.5 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change 0433 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct move Singapore 2801.16 2835.35 -1.21 Kuala Lumpur 1720.54 1725.24 -0.27 Bangkok 1387.4 1400.27 -0.92 Jakarta 4873.80 4850.18 0.49 Manila 7225.88 7254.53 -0.39 Ho Chi Minh 558.25 555.82 0.44 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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