SE Asia Stocks -Down; weak US consumer spending weighs; banks lead fall
June 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday, mostly led by banks, on concerns over a sluggish global economy after data showed lower-than-expected consumer spending and weak first-quarter growth in the United States. U.S. consumer spending rose less than expected in May, prompting economists to downgrade estimates for second-quarter growth, following weak first-quarter GDP data. Jakarta hit a more-than seven-week low, Thai shares retreated by midday after gaining to their highest since Oct. 21, Singapore fell from a one-week high hit in the previous session, and Malaysia touched a one-week low. "With the uncertainty on Wall Street overnight and the lack of fresh positive prospects, we expect the local bourse to also see some profit-taking ahead of the weekend," Singapore-based Net Research Asia said in a investor note. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT was down 1.8 percent, Public Bank Bhd traded 1.4 percent weaker, and Bangkok Bank PCL was down 0.8 percent, dragging down their overall stock indices respectively. In Bangkok, analysts said while end-of-quarter window dressing would continue to drive the market forward, the upside would be limited for Thai stocks while the market awaited clarity on an energy reform plan from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) by the end of the month. "We expect a trading range of 1470-1485 points for the SET index today. In our view, the best strategy to use at the moment is still to sell the rallies and buy the pullbacks within the above trading range," said Bangkok-based Phillip Securities. The energy sector should remain under pressure in the short term due to concerns on energy price reform, Maybank Kim Eng Securities said in a note. "The most appropriate solution, in our view, is liberalising domestic energy prices and subsidies for only certain groups of people." For Asian companies click For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0643 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 425.10 426.01 -0.20 Singapore 3270.44 3278.57 -0.25 Kuala Lumpur 1882.28 1889.97 -0.41 Bangkok 1476.46 1477.48 -0.07 Jakarta 4837.83 4872.42 -0.71 Manila 6835.62 6892.18 -0.82 Ho Chi Minh 576.15 576.40 -0.04 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in Colombo and Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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