SE Asia Stocks-Down tracking weak Asia; Indonesia falls ahead of holiday
BANGKOK, March 8 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian indexes retreated on Tuesday tracking weakness in Asia, as investors in the region's emerging markets cashed in on recent gains. Singapore's key Straits Times Index was down 0.6 percent, extending Monday's decline. The fall was led by recently rallying banks, including DBS Group Holdings which shed 1 percent. Asian shares, led by China , fell as investors took profits after a month-long rally and ahead of major central bank meetings, with the European Central Bank widely expected to ease at Thursday's policy review. Malaysia's central bank is expected to hold its overnight policy rate at 3.25 percent on Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed. Stocks in Malaysia fell after two straight days of gains. Bangkok's SET index was down 0.2 percent at midday. Shares of Airports of Thailand fell 1.9 percent while PTT Exploration and Production rose 1.6 percent. "Continued rising oil prices from growing hopes for an oil control deal as well as anticipation of more stimulus from the ECB should provide market support," strategists at broker Asia Wealth Securities wrote in a report. The Philippines and Indonesia extended the previous session's losses. Indonesia will be closed on Wednesday for a public holiday, reopening on Thursday. Bucking the trend, Vietnam rose slightly, heading for a sixth day of gains. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0629 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2806.93 2823.51 -0.59 Kuala Lumpur 1692.43 1697.93 -0.32 Bangkok 1393.06 1395.75 -0.19 Jakarta 4814.48 4831.57 -0.36 Manila 6863.63 6892.69 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 577.98 576.20 +0.31 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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