U.S. Markets closed

SE Asia Stocks-Eke out small gains as global growth concerns return

* Philippines on track for 2nd session of gains

* Singapore set to snap two straight days of falls

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

March 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks edged higher in

thin trading on Thursday as investors remained on the sidelines

with the return of global growth concerns.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development

(OECD) cut its forecasts for the global economy in 2019 and

2020, following on from previous downgrades in November, as it

warned that trade disputes and economic uncertainty over Brexit

would hit world commerce and businesses.

Philippine stocks were poised to rise for a second

session with all sectors except real estate stocks in the

positive territory.

Vietnam index added 0.5 percent, boosted by financial

and energy sectors.

Vingroup JSC, the country's largest-listed firm by

market value, rose 3.2 percent, while oil and gas refiner

Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp advanced 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, data released in early hours showed that U.S.

goods trade deficit surged to a record high in 2018 as strong

demand fueled by lower taxes pulled in imports, despite the

Trump administration's "America First" policies, including

tariffs aimed at shrinking the trade gap.

This comes at a time when China's exports probably

contracted in February after a surprise bounce in January, while

imports fell for a third straight month, a Reuters poll showed,

highlighting deepening concerns of a long-drawn trade spat

between the world's largest economies.

Chinese trade data is due on Friday.

Singapore stocks were on track to snap two straight

sessions of losses, supported by consumer and financial stocks,

with United Overseas Bank Ltd and Jardine Cycle &

Carriage Ltd firming 0.5 percent and 0.9 percent,

respectively.

Thai index and Malaysian stocks were

marginally higher.

The Indonesian market is closed on account of a

public holiday.

For Asian Companies click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0341 GMT

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3229.46 3222.84 0.21

Bangkok 1628.61 1625.51 0.19

Manila 7859.96 7821.34 0.49

Kuala Lumpur 1688.63 1686.82 0.11

Ho Chi Minh 999.23 994.49 0.48

Change so far in 2019

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move

Singapore 3229.46 3068.76 5.24

Bangkok 1628.61 1563.88 4.14

Manila 7859.96 7,466.02 5.28

Jakarta 6457.956 6,194.50 4.25

Kuala Lumpur 1688.63 1690.58 -0.12

Ho Chi Minh 999.23 892.54 11.95

(Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by

Shreejay Sinha)