Malaysia leads regional decline; energy shares fall

KUALALUMPUR: Malaysian stocks fell to their lowest in more than two years on Monday amid a fall in the ringgit while energy-related shares in the region took a hit as investors sold off risky assets due to weaker global oil prices.

The Kuala Lumpur composite index shed 1.68 percent to 1,654.37, its lowest close since March 2013, as the ringgit hit its weakest since September 1998.

The Indonesian index fell 0.5 percent as foreign investors sold a net 114.4 billion rupiah ($8.44 million) worth of shares, a fifth straight day of sales. Coal miners such as Indo Tambangraya and Adaro Energy were among the decliners.

The Philippine index erased most early gains, ending nearly flat amid foreign-led selling in energy shares with First Gen Corp hitting a three-week low.

Bangkok’s SET index eased 0.6 percent in the final week of the quarterly reporting season. Shares of Thai Airways International Pcl fell 0.8 percent ahead of its earnings results due on Tuesday.

Bucking the trend, Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index closed 1.78 percent higher, its biggest jump since July 22, led by Vinamilk and BaoViet Holdings.

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