SE Asia Stocks-Philippine falls to near two-week low; Singapore gains

By Anushka Trivedi

* Philippine shares on track to slide for 3rd session * BSP says Aug FDI net flows dropped significantly * Telcos boost Thai stocks By Anushka Trivedi Nov 12 (Reuters) - Philippine shares dropped to their lowest in almost two weeks on Tuesday, pulled lower by financials stocks, while Singapore led gains in Southeast Asia ahead of retail sales data due later in the day. The benchmark Philippine index dropped 0.4% after the country's central said on Monday that foreign direct investments (FDI) net inflows decreased to $416 million in August from $758 million a year ago as ongoing uncertainty in the global environment dampened sentiment. (https://bit.ly/34P2Ttk) The decline in FDI inflows is likely to continue, which will drag both GDP and employment, as foreign investors wait for a key corporate income tax bill expected in 2020, AP Securities analysts said in a client note. Singapore shares advanced 0.3%, after losing about 1.4% in the past two sessions on weakness in industrial stocks. The city-state's September retail sales figures, slated to be released later in the session, likely shrank on an annual basis but rose 3.5% over the previous month, according to OCBC analysts. Conglomerates Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd and Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd added 1.3% each. However, most other Southeast Asian stock markets were little changed in thin trade ahead of a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday that could provide clues on the status of an interim trade deal with China. Trump had doused hopes of an imminent trade pact over the weekend, when he said he had not agreed to roll back tariffs on China as part of "phase one" deal. There is no sign that trade talks have broken down but "the current condition is unlikely to give risk asset another leg up either in the absence of any further positive follow through," Mizuho analysts said in a note. The Thai benchmark edged up, with telco Advanced Info Service PCL jumping 1.8%. Jefferies expects the transition to 5G to result in better market collaboration and higher ARPU growth for the telecom sector. Indonesia's main index slid 0.1%, with lenders Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT dragging the benchmark. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0404 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3250.45 3240.65 0.30 Bangkok 1625.1 1622.12 0.18 Manila 7980.01 8009.38 -0.37 Jakarta 6146.457 6148.74 -0.04 Kuala Lumpur 1609.34 1608.15 0.07 Ho Chi Minh 1018.66 1016.75 0.19 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3250.45 3068.76 5.92 Bangkok 1625.1 1563.88 3.91 Manila 7980.01 7,466.02 6.88 Jakarta 6146.457 6,194.50 -0.78 Kuala Lumpur 1609.34 1690.58 -4.81 Ho Chi Minh 1018.66 892.54 14.13 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)