U.S. Markets closed

SE Asia Stocks-Most dip; Indonesia at 1-month low as trade deficit widens

* Singapore markets soften after disappointing Q4 GDP

* Indonesian stocks to see worst week since October 2018

* Vietnam to outperform peers this week

By Ambar Warrick

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets

slipped on Friday awaiting developments on the Sino-U.S.

negotiations, while Indonesian stocks dropped on disappointing

trade data.

The Trump administration's top two negotiators in trade

talks with China will meet later in the day with Chinese

President Xi Jinping, but there has been no decision to extend a

March 1 U.S. deadline for a deal.

"Regional markets will adopt a wait-and-see approach today

as they anticipate news from the trade talks. We expect muted

sideways trading following North America's session," Jeffrey

Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA said in a note.

Wall Street ended slightly lower overnight after

disappointing retail data, with Asian shares following suit in

early trade. Also weighing on sentiment was softer inflation

data from China, which pointed to further cooling in Southeast

Asia's largest trading partner.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesian markets dropped nearly

0.6 percent to their lowest since Jan. 15, after the country's

trade deficit widened in January. The index was set for its

worst week since October 2018.

Consumer staples and materials led the declines, with

cosmetics maker Unilever Indonesia shedding as much as

1.6 percent, while cement maker Semen Indonesia

dropped up to 3.4 percent.

Indonesia has been struggling to curb imports to assuage its

large trade deficit, which is mostly driven by its reliance on

foreign oil.

Singapore stocks slipped as much as 0.5 percent as

financials declined, although consumer stocks curbed further


However, the index was set to gain about 1.3 percent for the

week, owing to firmer banking stocks as investors positioned

themselves for potentially positive earnings next week.

The country clocked its slowest pace of GDP growth in more

than two years due to a manufacturing slowdown, with the

government warning of further headwinds in 2019.

Thai Beverage gained up to 8 percent after its

first-quarter profit more than doubled, while lender DBS Group

shed as much as 0.6 percent.

Vietnam stocks, while trading slightly lower for the

day, were set to outperform their peers for the week with a 4.7

percent gain. The country's stocks usually perform well in the

first quarter of the year due to an increased liquidity in the


Meanwhile, Malaysian and Philippine shares

traded sideways. Malaysian shares were set for a benign week,

while the Philippine index was slated to lose about 1 percent

after a week of rebalancing.

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Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3238.6 3253.16 -0.45

Bangkok 1645.76 1652.64 -0.42

Manila 7988.81 7991.25 -0.03

Jakarta 6386.306 6420.018 -0.53

Kuala Lumpur 1690.48 1689.06 0.08

Ho Chi Minh 950.82 952.34 -0.16

Change on year

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move

Singapore 3238.6 3068.76 5.53

Bangkok 1645.76 1563.88 5.24

Manila 7988.81 7466.02 7.00

Jakarta 6386.306 6194.498 3.10

Kuala Lumpur 1690.48 1690.58 -0.01

Ho Chi Minh 950.82 892.54 6.53

(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry