Mostly down on global growth worries; Malaysia leads

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(Sept 2): Southeast Asian stock markets were mostly trading lower on Wednesday, with Malaysia leading the fall on downbeat investor sentiment after economic data in China, the United States, and the euro zone pointed to slowing global economic growth.

Malaysia's main stock index was 0.9% weaker, near one-week lows, led by financial stocks.

Fitch Ratings' warning of a downgrade risk to the country's rating outlook due to its deteriorating currency position, also weighed on sentiment.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index was down 0.5% to its lowest since Aug 27, led by financials; while the Philippines index was down 0.2%.

An industry report showed U.S. factory activity hit a more than two-year low in August, while an official survey showed China's manufacturing sector shrank at its fastest pace in at least three years last month.  

"Weak manufacturing data out of China confirmed the economy is continuing to see tough times that will reverberate on the rest of the world," Singapore-based Net Research Asia said in a market note.

Surveys of manufacturing activity in central Europe painted a mixed picture on Tuesday, with a strong Czech reading and further weakness in Hungary accompanied by a plunge in Poland that economists largely dismissed as a blip.

Bucking the trend, Singapore traded steady, while Thailand was up 0.6%. Vietnam markets were closed for a holiday.
 Change at 0728 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          2882.32       2882.77       -0.02
 Kuala Lumpur       1594.90       1609.21       -0.89
 Bangkok            1370.45       1362.39       +0.59
 Jakarta            4388.91       4412.46       -0.54
 Manila             7072.46       7086.86       -0.20