Philippine faces worst drop since Feb, energy shares hit

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BANGKOK (Oct 13): Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday as worries about global economic growth dented sentiment across Asia and weak crude oil prices fuelled more selling in energy-related shares.
    
The Philippine main index slipped 2.0 percent, facing its worst one-day drop since Feb. 4. Top losers included shares of electricity producer Aboitiz Power Corp and Energy Development Corp.
    
Asian stocks slumped to seven-month lows on Monday while crude oil prices were pinned near a four-year trough as promising trade numbers out of China failed to cheer a market still worried about faltering global growth.
    
"The U.S. market was down significantly last Friday and that's one of the major drags," said April Lee-Tan, vice-president and head of research at COL Financial Group Inc in Manila.
    
"I think it's still a healthy correction. Everybody has been saying the valuation of the market is a bit elevated," she said.
    
The Philippine main index trades at an earnings multiple of 19.5, compared with a historical average of 15-16 times. It had risen 19.3 percent so far this year, Southeast Asia's second-best performer after Vietnam's 21.8 percent.
   
Across the exchanges, Singapore-listed offshore and marine firm Keppel Corp extended losses for a sixth session to the lowest since September 2013 and Malaysia's Petronas Gas dropped 3.3 percent to the lowest since August.
    
PTT, Thailand's biggest oil and energy firm, hit the lowest since Sept. 30 and Indonesia's coal shares were among underperformers, with shares of Adro Energy down 4.6 percent to the lowest since April 23.
   
In Bangkok, selling also hit bank stocks on expectations of weak fourth-quarter earnings due to be released over the next two weeks. Bangkok Bank fell 1 percent and Siam Commercial Bank was down 0.6 percent.
    
Broker Krungsri Securities said nine banks under its coverage would post a 1 percent drop in average July-September earnings from a quarter earlier due to weaker investment gains  and slowing domestic economy during the quarter.
    
The benchmark SET index was down 0.6 percent at 1,542.92. The trading range for the SET index is expected to be between 1,540 and 1,560 on the day, said broker Phillip Securities.
    
"Even though the Thai economy would get a boost from the government's recently launched stimulus measures, we believe much of the good news appears to have already been baked in," the broker said.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0444 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3199.56       3223.87       -0.75
 Kuala Lumpur       1803.71       1808.88       -0.29
 Bangkok            1542.92       1552.72       -0.63
 Jakarta            4931.74       4962.96       -0.63
 Manila             7024.10       7167.35       -2.00
 Ho Chi Minh         613.82        617.72       -0.63