SE Asia Stocks-Most markets tepid amid mixed trade cues; Thailand gains

By Arundhati Dutta

* Singapore flat after data showed Oct core inflation eased * The Philippines falls most, loses 0.8% * Higher oil prices support Thai energy stocks By Arundhati Dutta Nov 25 (Reuters) - Trading in most Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Monday, while Thailand eked out modest gains, as investors await concrete signals of progress in the U.S.-China trade negotiations amid mixed headlines. Investors welcomed signs that talks to resolve the trade row were moving to the next level after the U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien said there was still a possibility of an initial "phase one" deal with China by the end of this year. However, he warned that events in Hong Kong, driven by months of anti-government unrest, could overshadow trade talk progress. The Singapore index was trading flat after data showed that the city-state's core inflation rate had eased to its weakest level in over three years in October. Ahead of key inflation data, Hongkong Land Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings had climbed 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively. Thai stocks rose to their second session with top lender Kasikornbank climbing 2.3%. Sentiment got a lift after local media reports cited that the Thai finance ministry will consider a stimulus package of least 50 billion baht ($1.66 billion) for the final quarter. Oil prices began the week on a brighter note, lifting local energy stocks with Thai Oil advancing 3.3%. Despite hopes of an initial deal, according to officials in Washington and Beijing the prospect of a "phase two" deal is unlikely in the near future given the hurdles faced so far and the time until the Nov. 2020 Presidential election. The Philippine index shed gains from the previous session to fall 0.8%, with DMCI Holdings' 2.6% drop denting the broader market. Last week, Semirara Mining and Power Corp flagged significant loss in production potential because of a Department of Energy directive asking it to suspend all mining activities in relation to a coal contract, citing a mudflow incident in October. DMCI is a majority shareholder in Semirara. The Malaysian index was trading marginally flat. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0527 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3229.66 3225.65 0.12 Bangkok 1607.93 1597.72 0.64 Manila 7765.59 7824.59 -0.75 Jakarta 6079.433 6100.242 -0.34 Kuala Lumpur 1594.64 1596.84 -0.14 Ho Chi Minh 977.93 977.78 0.02 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3229.66 3068.76 5.24 Bangkok 1607.93 1563.88 2.82 Manila 7765.59 7,466.02 4.01 Jakarta 6079.433 6,194.50 -1.86 Kuala Lumpur 1594.64 1690.58 -5.67 Ho Chi Minh 977.93 892.54 9.57 ($1 = 30.1900 baht) (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)