SE Asia Stocks -Malaysia, Singapore lead regional decline
BANGKOK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday as investors cut risk holdings amid continued conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, with shares in Malaysia and Singapore nursing their worst weekly losses since March. Shares of Malaysia-listed Public Bank dropped almost 4 percent in active selling, as they traded ex-dividend. The broader market was down 1.5 percent, heading for a weekly drop of 1.3 percent. Singapore's Straits Times Index lost almost 1 percent on the day, sliding 1.7 percent so far on the week. Shares of large caps such as DBS Group Holdings and Singapore Telecommunications led the losers. Asian shares tumbled, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan off 0.97 percent. Most emerging Asian currencies also fell as U.S. President Barack Obama's authorisation of air strikes in Iraq further dampened risk sentiment. In Bangkok, formation of an interim government, expected later in August, was a key market focus. "We expect more positive news from the local side, i.e. the setting up of a new interim government," broker KGI Securities said in a report. Rising risk aversion and a long weekend kept most investors in Bangkok on the defensive, traders said. The Thai stock market will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday for a public holiday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0812 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 434.19 436.93 -0.63 Singapore 3283.39 3314.22 -0.93 Kuala Lumpur 1840.51 1867.32 -1.44 Bangkok 1517.96 1522.27 -0.28 Jakarta 5056.41 5066.98 -0.21 Manila 6880.34 6955.21 -1.08 Ho Chi Minh 605.43 607.62 -0.36 * 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 Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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