SE Asia Stocks - Weak ahead of holidays; eyes on Indonesia rate decision
BANGKOK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat-to-weaker on Tuesday as investors mostly stayed away in a shortened trading week, with energy shares losing ground after reporting weak earnings due to declining global oil prices. Thai SET index was down 0.5 percent at 1,600.44, extending the fall for a second day and heading for a one-week closing low, with Siam Cement shares retreating from Monday's record closing high of 510 baht. Shares of PTT Global Chemical were down 1.3 percent after it reported a quarterly net loss after market close on Monday, mainly due to a drop in the value of its inventory after declines in global oil prices. Players cut risk exposures ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in the region and partly as uncertainties about Greek debt talks dented sentiment across Asia. The SET is expected to move narrowly near 1,600-1,620 levels on the day, according to strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities. "The Greek situation has returned pressure to investment sentiment again," they wrote in a report to clients. The Kuala Lumpur composite index eased 0.2 percent after two sessions of gains. The weakness came amid a fall in trading volume to just 13 percent of a full-day average over the past 30 sessions. Shares of Kuala Lumpur Kepong slipped 2.9 percent, the worst performer on the index, after it reported weak quarterly results, which analysts said were due to low refining margins resulting from falling crude oil prices. Malaysia and Singapore will trade half-day on Wednesday, then close through Friday. Indonesia and the Philippines will be shut on Thursday while Vietnam is closed through Feb 23. In Jakarta, shares of PT Kalbe Farma Tbk rose 0.8 percent, regaining some of the 3.7 percent drop on Monday when the country's largest pharmaceutical company said it had recalled two drug products across the country due to quality issues. Jakarta's composite index traded 0.02 percent higher as investors awaited the central bank's interest rate decision while economists expected Bank Indonesia to keep its benchmark interest rate steady. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0625 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3414.01 3427.16 -0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1805.69 1808.89 -0.18 Bangkok 1600.44 1608.04 -0.47 Jakarta 5326.56 5325.49 +0.02 Manila 7783.93 7784.65 -0.01 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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