SE Asia Stocks-Thai index hits 6-wk closing low; Malaysia falls before rate decision
BANGKOK, March 5 (Reuters) - The Thai key stock index fell to a six-week closing low on Thursday as large caps traded ex-dividend while the Malaysian benchmark posted its worst fall in nearly two months amid broad-based selling ahead of the central bank's decision on interest rates. Kuala Lumpur's composite index was down 1.1 percent, the biggest single-day loss since Jan. 6, with twenty six out of 30 stocks measured by the index down. The index ended at 1,806.09, the lowest close since Feb. 13. Malaysia's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 3.25 percent on Thursday, as expected, saying inflation is only expected to trend higher after the first quarter of 2015. The announcement came after markets closed for the day. Thai SET index eased 0.6 percent to 1,553.33, the lowest close since Jan. 21. Large caps going ex-dividend led the losers, including shares of Bangchak Petroleum and Electricity Generating. Shares of telecoms firm Jasmine International plunged nearly 20 percent, reflecting an absence of a rights to receive dividends. Stocks in Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam ended in negative territory while Indonesia erased most earlier gains. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3395.27 3415.53 -0.59 Kuala Lumpur 1806.09 1825.54 -1.07 Bangkok 1553.33 1562.84 -0.61 Jakarta 5450.95 5448.06 +0.05 Manila 7819.04 7847.83 -0.37 Ho Chi Minh 596.91 600.39 -0.58 Change on year Market Current End 2014 Pct Move Singapore 3395.27 3365.15 +0.90 Kuala Lumpur 1806.09 1761.25 +2.55 Bangkok 1553.33 1497.67 +3.72 Jakarta 5450.95 5226.95 +4.29 Manila 7819.04 7230.57 +8.14 Ho Chi Minh 596.91 545.63 +9.40 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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