(Feb 21): Southeast Asian stock markets, except Vietnam and Indonesia, were tepid on Tuesday tracking Asian markets which were steady on a lack of global cues, with US markets closed for the Presidents Day holiday on Monday.
Asian stocks held below 19-month peaks hit last week though Chinese equities surged to a fresh two-month high as domestic funds piled into financial counters on expectations the world's second biggest economy may have turned a corner.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1% as of 0505 GMT.
Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index was down as much as 0.3%, pulled lower by financials and consumer staples.
DBS Group and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation lost 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.
Golden Agri-Resources Ltd, the biggest loser on the index, fell to a nearly five-week low.
"We see the market being weighed down by lower bank prices. Banks had a huge rally and I think we are seeing a little profit-taking down there," said Nicholas Teo, trading strategist at KGI Securities (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
"(Financials) have rallied the most in the last two-three months and for that to continue to move up, something special needed to happen and that didn't come; so the market is waiting for a catalyst."
Philippine shares slipped as much as 0.3%, with financial and industrial stocks leading the losers.
"We have been trading sideways and there is no direction. Investors are waiting for either a catalyst or a Black Swan event for a significant move up or down," said Victor Felix, equity analyst at Manila-based AB Capital Securities.
BDO Unibank fell as much as 2.1%, its biggest intraday percentage fall in almost three weeks.
Ayala Corp fell 0.6%, while property and retail services business SM Investments Corp dropped 0.4%.
The Thai index was off 0.2%, while Malaysian shares fell marginally hurt by consumer staples and basic material stocks.
Bucking the trend, the Vietnam index rose 0.6%, its biggest intraday percentage gain in more than four weeks, while Indonesia edged up 0.2%.
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0446 GMT
|Market||Current||Previous close||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||714.88||710.59||0.60|
Change on year
|Market||Current||End 2016||% move|
|Ho Chi Minh||714.88||664.87||7.52|