SE Asia Stocks -Malaysian index near 2-week low; Tenaga shares lead decline
BANGKOK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday, with the Singapore benchmark retreating from a more than 20-month high hit in the previous session, while Malaysian power group Tenaga Nasional Bhd extended losses amid tariff reduction concerns. The Kuala Lumpur composite index traded down 0.7 percent, its lowest since Jan. 30. Large cap Tenaga was down 5.1 percent, the worst performer on the index and the most actively-traded stock by turnover. The stock closed down 3 percent on Wednesday after the government said it cut electricity tariff in Peninsular Malaysia and the Borneo state of Sabah following declines in prices of feedstock and crude oil. Data issued by Malaysia's central bank showed the country's economy grew a faster-than-expected 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier even as falling oil prices and sluggish global demand hit exports. Asian stocks and the euro fell on Thursday as markets erred on the side of caution over the ongoing Greek debt negotiations amid conflicting headlines on progress in the talks. Singapore's Straits Times Index lost almost 1 percent. Jakarta composite index was a tad lower and the Thai SET index eased 0.4 percent, trimming some Wednesday's gain. Broker Phillip Securities expected the Thai market to move rangebound between 1,595 and 1,615 on the day. The index traded at 1,599.05. "The Greece factor would remain a nagging headwind for the market in the near term," the broker said. Among outperformers, the Philippine index rose 0.4 percent. The Philippine central bank said after market close it kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 4.0 percent on Thursday, as expected, as it forecast inflation to remain within its comfort range this year and next. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index edged up 0.4 percent, with property firm HAGL attracting funds following a plan to establish a venture with a Singaporean company. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0738 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3413.63 3444.57 -0.90 Kuala Lumpur 1786.03 1798.95 -0.72 Bangkok 1599.05 1605.11 -0.38 Jakarta 5332.70 5336.52 -0.07 Manila 7714.59 7686.43 +0.37 Ho Chi Minh 584.04 581.76 +0.39 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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