Mostly down on oil price jitters, Jakarta awaits fuel subsidy cut

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JAKARTA (Nov 4): Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday as energy-related stocks took a beating due to falling oil prices, while investors in Indonesia remained on the sidelines ahead of the fuel subsidy cut decision.

    Brent crude fell towards $84 a barrel on Tuesday, extending losses to a fourth session after top oil exporter Saudi Arabia cut prices to the United States.    
    
Drilling rig builders such as Singapore's Sembcorp Marine Ltd declined 2.7 percent, while Vietnam's Petrovietnam Drilling & Well Services Corp fell 0.5 percent.
    
Malaysian stock index declined 0.4 percent as the ringgit dropped to a near nine-month low on concerns that the major crude palm oil exporter country will be hurt by falling oil prices.  
    
Singapore's FTSE Straits Times index fell 0.2 percent, ending its four-day rally, while the Philippines' main stock index posted a 0.4 decline, retreating from its
five-week high. Asian stocks outside Japan fell about 0.1 percent.
    
"Declines are seen in the energy sector, triggered by Saudi Arabia's plan to cut shipping cost to the U.S., while the supply is high there," said Jakarta-based BNI Securities in a note.
    
Indonesia was slightly lower as investors wait for the fuel subsidy cut decision that will save the government nearly $13 billion next year. President Joko Widodo, who took office on Oct. 20, was expected to announce the fuel price hike earlier this month.
    
"Absence of clear schedule on when the government will increase the price of subsidised fuel caused investors to wait and see," BNI Securities said.
    

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS    
 Change on at 0544 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3283.09       3290.84       -0.24
 Kuala Lumpur       1845.74       1853.34       -0.41
 Bangkok            1581.98       1579.18       +0.18
 Jakarta            5085.25       5085.51       -0.01
 Manila             7281.89       7312.85       -0.42
 Ho Chi Minh         601.62        603.15       -0.25