U.S. Markets closed

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall, Philippines loses most

* Malaysia on track to snap four sessions of losses

* Philippines Jan inflation figures expected on Tuesday

By Shreya Mariam Job

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday

in a lacklustre trading, with Philippines leading losses, as

optimism about a trade deal between the United States and China


The Philippine benchmark index fell 0.6 percent ahead

of the country's inflation data, expected on Tuesday.

Industrials and financials dragged the index with SM Investments

Corp and BDO Unibank Inc dipping 1.6 percent

and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Investors were skeptical about the actual progress made at

the talks, especially with regard to core U.S. demands for

structural policy changes in China.

Several people briefed on the talks said that while Chinese

negotiators engaged U.S. officials on intellectual property and

technology transfer practices, they did not bring any new

proposals to the table.

"Views are a tad too rosy, hopes rather elevated and

optimism getting ahead of far more sobering realities. Which is

to say that underlying vulnerabilities and consequent volatility

may not be put to bed, not just yet," said Vishnu Varathan,

senior economist at Mizuho Bank in a note.

Financials and consumer staples pulled the Indonesian index

0.3 percent lower. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT

lost 1.9 percent, while Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT

dropped 1.3 percent.

Malaysian stocks led gains in the region, rising 0.4

percent and were on track to snap four sessions of losses.

Utility and healthcare stocks underpinned the index with IHH

Healthcare Bhd rising 1.4 percent and Tenaga Nasional

Bhd firming 1.7 percent.

The Philippine central bank looks certain to leave interest

rates on hold for a second straight meeting on Thursday, with

inflation expected to have slowed to 4.5 percent in January,

according to a Reuters poll.

The central bank last week said January annual inflation is

likely to settle within a 4.3-5.1 percent range, which is ahead

of the 2-4 percent target of the bank.

"The underlying bias despite a rate hold this time around is

to tighten if elevated inflation does not soften soon enough,"

Varathan said.

Thai stocks rose 0.3 percent, boosted by energy

counters amid strong oil prices.

PTT Exploration and Production PCL rose 1.2

percent while CP All PCL firmed 0.7 percent.

Malaysia and Singapore markets are to close early today

ahead of a public holiday, while Vietnam's financial markets are

shut for Lunar New year.

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Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3187.67 3188.68 -0.03

Bangkok 1655.46 1651.4 0.25

Manila 8094.47 8144.16 -0.61

Jakarta 6516.696 6538.638 -0.34

Kuala Lumpur 1690.82 1683.53 0.43

Change so far in 2019

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move

Singapore 3187.67 3068.76 3.87

Bangkok 1655.46 1563.88 5.86

Manila 8094.47 7,466.02 8.42

Jakarta 6516.696 6,194.50 5.20

Kuala Lumpur 1690.82 1690.58 0.01

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by

Shreejay Sinha)