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SE Asia Stocks-Most indexes down

BANGKOK: Most Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday, in line with Asia amid disappointing Chinese trade data and the crisis in Ukraine, while Malaysia hit a week low as shares of Malaysian Airline System hit a record low after the disappearance of a plane.

Malaysia's index slipped 0.5 percent to 1,823.34, earlier hovering around the lowest since March 4.Shares of Malaysian Airline were the most actively-traded, falling 8 percent, with about 247 million shares changing hands, 5.9 times a full-day average over the past 30 sessions.

The stock lost as much as 18 percent to 20.5 sen at one point after a Boeing 777 operated by the airline went missing
over the weekend. 

Affin Investment Bank said the impact from the MH370 tragedy was negative to the airline. The broker maintained a "sell"
rating on the stock, with target price of 0.19 ringgit.

"While it is still premature to gauge the potential cost to the company, the tragedy would nonetheless further dampen sentiment on the stock and could potentially strain its balance sheet further," the broker said in a report.

Singapore's Straits Times Index edged down 0.4 percent as MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 1.1 percent. 

Philippine main index was a tad higher after falling in early trading hours.

Jakarta's composite index traded nearly flat near midday, with banking stocks such as Bank Mandiri easing ahead of Bank Indonesia's interest rate decision this week.

In Bangkok, the SET index was down 0.9 percent aftergaining about 4 percent over the past nine sessions. Active selling was seen in recent outperformers such as airport operator Airports of Thailand and coal miner Banpu.

Profit taking could further derail Thai shares as jitters remained over the domestic political issues, including Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra defence of the rice pledging scheme later this week.

"Investors should closely watch the Pro-Thaksin group and the anti-government protestor PDRC movement after the ruling is announced," broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in a report.

Vietnamese shares were up 0.5 percent at their highest in more than one week, extending their three-day winning streak.


Source – Reuters



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