SE Asian stocks muted; Malaysia hits 6-mth low

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(Oct 19): Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued and moving in a narrow range on Thursday, with Malaysia edging down to its lowest in nearly six months, while Singapore climbed, driven by the banking sector.

Malaysian shares dropped as much as 0.3% to their lowest since April 21, ahead of the monthly inflation data due on Friday.

The consumer price index likely rose 4.3% in September, analysts polled by Reuters forecast, indicating an increase in the inflation rate for a second straight month.

Indonesian stocks held steady ahead of a policy meeting later in the day in which the central bank is expected to stay pat on the monetary policy.

"Market and Mirae expect key interest rates to remain unchanged at 4.25%," Mirae Asset Sekuritas said in a note.    

Philippine shares extended losses to a second straight day, after giving up 0.8% in the previous session, as investors continued to cash in on big caps.

Conglomerates SM Investments Corp and JG Summit Holdings lost as much as 1.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

Thai shares inched higher after data showed a trade surplus in September.

Singapore shares rose for the fifth session in six, with United Overseas Bank and DBS Group Holdings the top gainers.

Singapore Exchange Ltd and US-based Nasdaq formed a pact to support fast growing Asian companies to list on both capital markets possibly simultaneously.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change as at 0430 GMT

Market             Current      Previous close    % move
Singapore          3341.97      3329.03     0.39
Bangkok            1709.31      1707.53     0.10
Manila             8423.77      8431.73     -0.09
Jakarta            5928.786     5929.201    -0.01
Kuala Lumpur       1745.54      1748.99     -0.20
Ho Chi Minh        831.35       827.72      0.44

Change on year

Market             Current      End 2016    % move
Singapore          3341.97      2880.76     16.01
Bangkok            1709.31      1542.94     10.78
Manila             8423.77      6840.64     23.1
Jakarta            5928.786     5296.711    11.93
Kuala Lumpur       1745.54      1641.73     6.32
Ho Chi Minh        831.35       664.87      25