March 20, 2019 / 4:05 AM / 6 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on report of possible trade talk friction

    * Singapore on track to snap four consecutive sessions of
    * Thailand gains ahead of cenbank benchmark policy rate
    * Vietnam falls near one percent

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    March 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Wednesday as signs suggesting possible hurdles in U.S.-China
trade talks curbed risk sentiment, while anticipation of the
U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision also kept investors on the
    Bloomberg had reported that negotiators in the U.S. were
concerned that China - the region's biggest trading partner - is
pushing back against American demands in trade talks. The report
comes ahead of another bout of trade talks scheduled for next
    "Hopes for a trade deal between China and the U.S. was one
key support to the recent rally but with reports indicating that
talks had bogged down, investors retreated," ING said in a note.
    Broader Asian shares also slipped ahead of a policy decision
by the U.S. Federal Reserve with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shedding 0.4
    Meanwhile, business confidence in Asian companies has held
near three year lows in the first quarter as the U.S.-China
trade dispute dragged on, pulling down a global economy that is
already on a downward path, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey
found, further dampening investor sentiment.
    Losses in real estate and consumer stocks pulled down the
Vietnam benchmark index, which led losses in the region
with a near one percent fall.
    Real estate stocks Vinhomes JSC and Vingroup JSC
 slipped 1.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
    Singapore's benchmark, on track to snap four
consecutive gains, dropped 0.6 percent, with financials dragging
the index. 
    Index heavyweight United Overseas Bank Ltd dropped
1.3 percent, while Capitaland Commercial Trust shed
2.1 percent. 
    Thai stocks inched higher ahead of the central bank
policy meeting later on Wednesday. 
    Bank of Thailand is expected to keep its benchmark policy
rate steady for a second straight review after a hike in
December, a Reuters poll showed, in a bid to support a slowing
economy while inflation remained low.
    Gains in consumer stocks supported the Thai index with
Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl and CP All Pcl
rising 1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. 
    Meanwhile, the Indonesian index climbed marginally
supported by materials and financials. 
    Shares of Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk PT firming
3.7 percent and Bank Pan Indonesia Tbk PT
strengthening 3.6 percent.    

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3200.47   3220.92         -0.63
 Bangkok                1631.97   1630.09         0.12
 Manila                 7839.45   7843.41         -0.05
 Jakarta                6488.774  6480.276        0.13
 Kuala Lumpur           1682.04   1687.68         -0.33
 Ho Chi Minh            998.04    1006.59         -0.85
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3200.47   3068.76         4.29
 Bangkok                1631.97   1563.88         4.35
 Manila                 7839.45   7,466.02        5.00
 Jakarta                6488.774  6,194.50        4.75
 Kuala Lumpur           1682.04   1690.58         -0.51
 Ho Chi Minh            998.04    892.54          11.82

 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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