SE Asia Stocks - Fall on China concerns; foreign selling hits large-caps
BANGKOK, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday as a survey indicating weak factory data from China unnerved investors, with Singapore's key index hitting multi-week lows while large-caps in Indonesia and Thailand faced foreign selling pressure. Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 1.23 percent at 2,833.31, the lowest since Sept. 8. Shares of DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank shed more than 1 percent each, and were among the most actively-traded shares. Confirmation of China's weak PMI numbers will be a drag on sentiment, said broker NRA Capital. "Though the number was not unexpected, the confirmation brings with it continued uncertainty to global markets which have already been hit by negative news all over," broker NRA Capital said in a report. Activity in China's factory sector shrank at a faster pace than expected in September as domestic and export demand continued to slump, a private survey showed. Asian stocks fell on Wednesday as fears of an entrenched global economic slowdown gripped investors. Stock markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia will all be closed on Thursday for a public holiday. Kuala Lumpur's composite index hit a more-than-one-week low while Jakarta hovered at its lowest in four weeks, with foreign selling sending Bank Rakyat Indonesia 4.3 percent lower. In Bangkok, shares of the country's biggest conglomerate Siam Cement fell almost 3 percent to a level last hit on Aug. 31. The broader SET index was down 0.7 percent at its lowest since Sept. 8. "The selling will probably be related to portfolio adjustment of foreign investors which hit large-caps in the region as well," said Pichai Lertsupongkij, a senior analyst at broker Thanachart Securities. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index dipped 0.38 percent by midday on Wednesday, with banking and energy stocks leading the fall while the market lacked supporting news. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0502 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2833.31 2868.47 -1.23 Kuala Lumpur 1613.97 1635.37 -1.31 Bangkok 1369.60 1379.32 -0.70 Jakarta 4265.69 4344.04 -1.80 Manila 6952.16 7051.23 -1.41 Ho Chi Minh 571.01 573.20 -0.38 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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