U.S. Markets closed

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