SE Asia Stocks-Singapore hits nearly 2-wk low on fears of weak growth
By Susan Mathew Oct 11 (Reuters) - Singapore shares fell to their lowest in nearly two weeks on Tuesday after local media reported the economy might see some quarters of contraction, quoting a government minister. Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang was quoted by a local broadcaster saying in Parliament that the economy faces the possibility of experiencing "some quarters of negative growth", although the government does not expect an outright recession. The government still expects the economy to grow 1 to 2 percent for the full year, albeit on the lower end of the projection curve, he added. The comments came just days before a semi-annual monetary policy decision by the central bank and the release of the government's advance estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product, both due on Friday. The Straits Times Index fell as much as 0.6 percent to its lowest since Sept. 30 and was headed for a third consecutive session of falls. The financial sector shed 0.4 percent after the city-state directed Swiss wealth manager Falcon Private Bank Ltd to cease operations and fined top local lender DBS Bank and UBS AG over lapses in its biggest crackdown on entities dealing with Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB. DBS Group shed 0.2 percent. Other Southeast Asian stock markets were sluggish though oil stocks gained across the board as crude prices held near one-year highs touched in the previous session on growing expectations of an output cut by OPEC producers. Vietnamese shares fell to their lowest in two weeks with gains in the energy sector offset by decline in consumer non-cyclicals and industrials. Indonesian shares fell for a fifth straight session to their lowest in two weeks, with clove cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoema and cement manufacturer Semen Indonesia shedding as much as 1 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0517 GMT Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2857.92 2870.24 -0.43 Bangkok 1456.57 1457.02 -0.03 Manila 7521.76 7534.71 -0.17 Jakarta 5347.496 5360.828 -0.25 Kuala Lumpur 1666.4 1665.32 0.06 Ho Chi Minh 671.99 674.19 -0.33 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2857.92 2882.73 -0.86 Bangkok 1456.57 1288.02 13.09 Manila 7521.76 6952.08 8.19 Jakarta 5347.496 4593.008 16.43 Kuala Lumpur 1666.4 1692.51 -1.54 Ho Chi Minh 671.99 579.03 16.05 (Reporting by Susan Mathew; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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