SE Asia Stocks - Fall; Singapore lower ahead of polling day
BANGKOK, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Thursday amid weak sentiment in Asia and an overnight decline in global oil prices, with property shares leading the Singapore index lower while Malaysian banks retreated ahead of a central bank rate decision. Singapore's key Straits Times Index traded down 1.2 percent, reversing from Wednesday's more-than-one-week closing high. The city-state's stock market will be closed on Friday for a general election. Property shares fell in the face of a weak price outlook, with CapitaLand down 2 percent. A fall in global oil prices overnight also hit shares such as oil and gas service firm Sembcorp Marine Ltd. Kuala Lumpur's composite index was off 0.2 percent, after a second straight gain on Wednesday. Banks were actively traded, with Public Bank easing 0.9 percent and Maybank down 1.3 percent. Bank Negara Malaysia is expected to hold its benchmark rate at 3.25 percent at a policy review on Friday amid a plunging ringgit and global uncertainty, a Reuters poll showed. In Bangkok, the key SET index was down 0.3 percent at midday, weighed down by a 2.7 percent drop in large-cap energy firm PTT which traded ex-dividend. Brokers said the U.S. interest rate decision next week was a near-term concern but the Thai government's measures to revive the economy remained supportive. "The SET downside should be limited by strong institutional buying, backed by optimism on domestic recovery after the current cabinet rolled out two stimulus packages since the beginning of this month," said broker KGI Securities report. Indonesia gave up recent gains despite a stimulus package. The Philippine index fell after weak July export data while Vietnam snapped two days of gains. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0627 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2892.10 2928.18 -1.23 Kuala Lumpur 1599.48 1603.36 -0.24 Bangkok 1392.75 1396.29 -0.25 Jakarta 4328.14 4347.27 -0.44 Manila 6882.32 6942.47 -0.87 Ho Chi Minh 570.93 572.34 -0.25 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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