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SE Asia Stocks-Lacklustre as investors bide time ahead of US jobs data

* Philippine March inflation slowest in 15 months

* Singapore set to post 4th consecutive weekly gain

* Concrete developments on Sino-U.S. trade talks eyed

By Shreya Mariam Job

April 5 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets trod water

on Friday in light trade, as investors kept to the sidelines in

the absence of constructive developments on Sino-U.S. trade

talks and due to a holiday in China.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United

States and China were getting very close to a trade deal that

could be announced within four weeks, but he issued a warning to

Beijing that, absent a pact, it would be difficult to allow

trade to continue.

Chinese President Xi Jinping assured Trump that text of the

China-U.S. trade could be finalised soon, in a message conveyed

by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

"Early morning, positive risk sentiments were given a slight

boost by President Xi's upbeat comment on the Sino-US trade

front. Nevertheless, the risk rally may be showing some signs of

exhaustion, with only nice sound-bites but no concrete

developments to chew on," OCBC said in a note.

Investors now wait for the U.S. payrolls report, which is

forecast to bounce back in March with a Reuters survey

predicting nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 180,000 jobs

last month after a meagre 20,000 in February.

Philippine shares edged higher after data showed

inflation eased in March to its slowest annual pace in 15

months, supporting views that the central bank would take

advantage of cooling price rise to reverse some of last year's

policy tightening to aid economic growth.

"Another benign inflation print in April should allow the

BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) to cut its Overnight Reverse

Repurchase Rate (RRP) by 25bps at its May meeting," ANZ said in

a note.

Shares of Ayala Corp and BDO Unibank

recovered from the previous session's losses and rose 0.8

percent each.

Singapore stocks traded higher for a seventh

consecutive session and were set to post their fourth straight

weekly gain.

Financial stocks were among the top contributors, while

Genting Singapore Ltd recovered some of its losses

from the previous session.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp climbed 0.5 percent,

while Genting Singapore rose 2.1 percent after Thursday's 9.4

percent drop.

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Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3323.8 3316.21 0.23

Bangkok 1644.22 1644.22 0.00

Manila 7877 7854.13 0.29

Jakarta 6492.963 6494.63 -0.03

Kuala Lumpur 1643.28 1645.07 -0.11

Ho Chi Minh 986.88 986.91 0.00

Change so far in 2019

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move

Singapore 3323.8 3068.76 8.31

Bangkok 1644.22 1563.88 5.14

Manila 7877 7,466.02 5.50

Jakarta 6492.963 6,194.50 4.82

Kuala Lumpur 1643.28 1690.58 -2.80

Ho Chi Minh 986.88 892.54 10.57

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by

Subhranshu Sahu)