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SE Asia Stocks-Philippines drops ahead of inflation data, others subdued

* Singapore edges up, gains for 6th straight session

* Philippine March inflation forecast to have slowed

* Genting Singapore slumps to 3-month low

By Shreya Mariam Job

April 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were

subdued on Thursday in thin trade as investors exercised caution

awaiting further development on the Sino-U.S. trade talks, while

Philippines slipped ahead of the country's March inflation data.

U.S.-China trade talks made "good headway" last week in

Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during talks

that could extend beyond three days this week, White House

economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

Philippine stocks closed 0.52 percent lower, weighed

down by financials, ahead of the March inflation data on Friday.

Philippine inflation likely slowed for a fifth straight

month in March, a Reuters poll showed. The consumer price index

is forecast to have risen 3.5 percent in March from a year

earlier, below the previous month's 3.8 percent and the lowest

since January 2018.

The slowing inflation is expected to lead to the central

bank reversing some of last year's policy tightening to support

economic growth.

Shares of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala

Corp dropped 3.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Malaysian shares edged higher despite a fall in the

country's February exports.

Malaysia's exports fell sharply in February, the first

contraction since August as trade slowed with most of its

partners, government data showed on Thursday.

"Alongside signs of constructive U.S.-China talks, this

(uptick in Purchasing Managers Indices (PMI) from U.S., China

and the region in March) could help Malaysia's exports and

industrial activity turn the corner in 2Q 2019," a note from UOB


Meanwhile, Malaysia will sell a superyacht allegedly bought

with stolen funds from state fund 1MDB to casino operator

Genting Malaysia Bhd for $126 million, in the first

major asset sale by Kuala Lumpur to recover billions lost from

the fund.

Shares of Genting Malaysia slipped 0.9 percent.

In Singapore, Genting Singapore Ltd shares plunged

9.4 percent to a three-month low, after the casino operator

unveiled a S$4.5 billion ($3.3 billion) expansion plan and the

government said it would hike casino entry prices and taxes,

capping gains in the benchmark index.

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Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3316.21 3311.27 0.15

Bangkok 1644.22 1649.06 -0.29

Manila 7854.13 7895.06 -0.52

Jakarta 6494.63 6476.066 0.29

Kuala Lumpur 1645.07 1643.21 0.11

Ho Chi Minh 986.91 984.46 0.25

Change so far in 2019

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move

Singapore 3316.21 3068.76 8.06

Bangkok 1644.22 1563.88 5.14

Manila 7854.13 7,466.02 5.20

Jakarta 6494.63 6,194.50 4.85

Kuala Lumpur 1645.07 1690.58 -2.69

Ho Chi Minh 986.91 892.54 10.57

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru;; Editing by

Gopakumar Warrier)