SE Asia Stocks-Most subdued on mixed trade cues; Thailand up on stimulus hopes

By Arundhati Dutta

* Thailand at near 2-week high on possible stimulus package, up 1% * Singapore Oct core inflation rate eases to over three-year low * Indonesia hits over 6-week low, extends losses to third session By Arundhati Dutta Nov 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets slipped on Monday, as mixed signals from the United States and China about progress in settling their trade dispute kept risk sentiment low, while Thailand rose on stimulus hopes from the government. According to officials in Beijing and Washington, the November 2020 U.S. Presidential election and the difficulties in reaching an initial agreement have made it unlikely that a "phase two" deal would be reached in the near future. Furthermore, U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien gave mixed cues on Saturday, saying that though an interim deal was still possible by the end of this year, events in Hong Kong would not be ignored. Rising tensions between the United States and China had kept markets subdued across the last week, after the U.S House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at protecting human rights of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. "Even if the keenly awaited "phase-one" trade deal is signed, it doesn't mean it will be all smooth sailing for the markets thereafter, with further bouts of volatility expected," said Han Tan, a market analyst at FXTM in a note. While most major markets traded lower, Thai stocks managed to log robust gains. The Thai benchmark index advanced 1% to its highest level in nearly two weeks, after local media the government was considering a stimulus package to inject at least 50 billion baht ($1.66 billion) into the economy in the final quarter. In line with the subdued regional mood, Indonesian stocks extended losses into a third straight session and hit their lowest level in over six weeks. Weighing on the index, sector heavyweight Telekomunikasi Indonesia lost 2.5%. The Singapore benchmark, which had climbed as much as 0.6% in early trade, lost ground and closed sightly lower after data showed that the city-state's core inflation rate in October had eased to an over three-year low.. Philippines stocks tumbled 0.7% and hit an over six-week low, with big caps such as Ayala Land Inc and Manila Electric Company dragging the index. Malaysian shares ended 0.4% lower, with telco Axiata Group shedding 2.3%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3220.63 3225.65 -0.16 Bangkok 1614.8 1597.72 1.07 Manila 7771.62 7824.59 -0.68 Jakarta 6070.762 6100.242 -0.48 Kuala Lumpur 1591.35 1596.84 -0.34 Ho Chi Minh 976.35 977.78 -0.15 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3220.63 3068.76 4.95 Bangkok 1614.8 1563.88 3.26 Manila 7771.62 7,466.02 4.09 Jakarta 6070.762 6,194.50 -2.00 Kuala Lumpur 1591.35 1690.58 -5.87 Ho Chi Minh 976.35 892.54 9.39 ($1 = 30.1900 baht) (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Rashmi Aich)