BANGKOK: Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday, with the Malaysian benchmark ending three days of losses ahead of the central bank's decision to hold rates steady, while Indonesian large caps retreated amid selling led by foreign investors.
Malaysia's central bank held its overnight policy rate at 3.25 percent on Thursday, as expected, keeping policy steady while the Southeast Asian nation and its markets were rocked by corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak.
All 15 economists in a Reuters poll had estimated Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) would leave the rate unchanged.
The key Kuala Lumpur composite index rose 0.3 percent, with rate-sensitive banking shares showing mixed performance. Maybank rose 0.4 percent while Public Bank fell nearly 1 percent.
In Indonesia, the Jakarta composite index fell 0.7 percent to 4,838.28, its lowest close since June 15.
The country saw net foreign outflows of 483 billion rupiah($36.23 million), with Bank Mandiri, Telekomunikasi Indonesia and Unilever Indonesia among the losers, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Trading volume was light to moderate in the region, at 0.8-1.1 times a 30-day avarage as jitters