Southeast Asia stocks: Most subdued on caution over U.S.-China trade talk outcome

09/06/2019 | 06:37am

(Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended slightly higher on Friday, paring most of its early gains, as investors turned cautious about concrete progress in U.S.-China trade relations.

"The ongoing Sino-U.S. trade tension still consists of a huge unpredictability, as evident from the dramatic change in sentiments of late, and we expect strong volatility ahead as the current situation paints an image of imminent strong headwinds for global indices," Phillip Futures said in a note to clients.

Philippine stocks <.PSI> maintained its lead among regional indexes, ending the session 0.5% higher. For the week, however, it dropped 0.6%, snapping two weekly gains.

Hotel developer and operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp and real estate developer Robinsons Land Corp were the top gainers on the index, rising 3.9% and 2.9%, respectively.

Malaysian stocks <.KLSE> closed 0.3% higher, helped by industrial stocks.

Port services provider MISC Bhd rose 3.5%, while Sime Darby Bhd gained 1.3%.

Thai stocks ended the session little changed, with losses among telecom and industrial stocks offset by gains in financial and energy stocks.

The country also unveiled a generous relocation package on Friday to attract foreign companies looking to move production because of the intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war.

Meanwhile, Singapore stocks <.STI> posted its first weekly gain in seven, but ended the session marginally lower.

Gains among financial stocks were outweighed by losses in industrials.

Vietnam, the most-favoured destination for manufacturing firms moving out of China to avoid tariffs, has not taken the news of talks between U.S. and China in October well, as the country's stock index <.VNI> fell 0.3%. Real estate and financials dragged the benchmark lower.

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

By Shreya Mariam Job

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