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SE Asia Stocks-Tillerson exit, possible tariffs weigh; Philippines drops most

* Tillerson's departure adds to protectionism fears

* Trump seeks to impose tariffs against China - reports

* Vietnam only gainer in S.E. Asia region

By Aaron Saldanha

March 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets

slipped on Wednesday as the sacking of U.S. Secretary of State

Rex Tillerson and increased fears of a global trade war rattled

investors.

Tillerson was seen as a moderate influence in U.S. President

Donald Trump's administration and his departure is seen as a

sign of potential worsening of tariffs. Adding to the worries,

reports said Trump is seeking to impose hefty tariffs on Chinese

imports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7 percent,

the S&P 500 lost 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite

dropped 1.02 percent on Tuesday.

"The movement in regional markets is focused on the shakeup

in the Trump administration ... the second concern is the trade

wars after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and

aluminium," said Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at AB

Capital.

"This would pose some concern in terms of the global economy

in a broader sense."

Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stumbled

0.7 percent, retreating from a 1-1/2 month high the index hit on

Tuesday.

Among Southeast Asian markets, Philippine shares were

the worst hit, with all sectors contributing to a 1.4 percent

drop in the main index. SM Investments Corp fell as much

as 2.3 percent.

Malaysia dropped 0.4 percent, largely due to losses

in industrial and telecom stocks. Energy shipping solutions

provider MISC Bhd fell as much as 3.4 percent.

Singapore shares lost 0.6 percent, hurt by

broad-based losses. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd

was 0.8 percent lower.

The Indonesian benchmark was 0.5 percent lower,

weighed by consumer discretionary and telecom stocks.

Telekomunikasi Indonesia weighed the most on the

index, dropping 1 percent.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks

fell 0.7 percent.

"The story we see right now is a shift from emerging markets

back to the U.S., given the improved U.S. economy. That is a

gist of what is happening right now in equity markets," said AB

Capital's Azurin.

Thai shares were also lower as energy and financial

sectors draged on the index. PTT PCL fell as much as

1.1 percent, making it the biggest drag on the index.

Vietnam was the outlier, with the benchmark rising

0.4 percent as financial and real estate stocks traded higher.

Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam

was up 2.4 percent.

For Asian Companies click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0335 GMT

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3533.57 3553.73 -0.57

Bangkok 1808.14 1809.9 -0.10

Manila 8305.03 8419.57 -1.36

Jakarta 6381.019 6412.846 -0.50

Kuala Lumpur 1856.65 1864.03 -0.40

Ho Chi Minh 1137.87 1133.31 0.40

Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move

Singapore 3533.57 3402.92 3.84

Bangkok 1808.14 1753.71 3.10

Manila 8305.03 8558.42 -2.96

Jakarta 6381.019 6355.654 0.40

Kuala Lumpur 1856.65 1796.81 3.33

Ho Chi Minh 1137.87 984.24 15.61

(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb

Chakrabarty)