SE Asia Stocks-Tepid after raft of weak data, trade-deal hopes limit losses

By Anushka Trivedi

* Singtel posts first ever qtrly loss, shares drop * Malaysia Q3 GDP in line with expectations * Philippines on track to snap five weekly gains By Anushka Trivedi Nov 15 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were tepid on Friday, as a raft of lacklustre data from leading economies left investors skittish, while renewed hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal limited sharp declines, with Indonesia seeing its best day in near two weeks. The weakness in China's economy reflected an impact from the prolonged tariff dispute to global economic growth. Data released on Thursday showed that factory output growth in China, Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner, had slowed significantly more than expected in October. The German economy narrowly avoided an expected slip into recession, while Japan's economy came to a near standstill. However, positive cues on the trade war front helped cushion the blow as markets worldwide took heart from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow assuring that Washington and Beijing were inching closer to an agreement after holding constructive talks. "The dismal figures are yet another reminder to markets about the sheer importance of a U.S.-China trade deal to the global economic outlook. That deal is essential to reviving hopes of a global economic recovery," Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM said in a note. The Jakarta index tacked on 0.6% after October trade data implied that Indonesian exports declined at a slower-than-expected pace, with the country logging in a trade surplus of $161.3 million. Financials led gains in the region, with Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT adding 3.1% and 1.8%, respectively. Singapore's benchmark was mostly flat as gains in the industrial sector were offset by a sharp decline in telco stocks, with heavyweight Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) dropping 3.3%. The telcom company's stock value depleted by over $1 billion following its disappointing quarterly results. The Straits Times Index is on track to shed 0.9% this week. Malaysian stocks were largely unchanged after data showed its economy grew by 4.4% in the third-quarter from a year earlier, slowest in a year but in line with expectations. The index is poised to mark a 1% weekly loss. The Philippine's main index ticked an edge lower, set to snap five weekly gains, after the central bank stood pat on interest rates, citing firm economic growth in the third quarter and on expectations the trend will continue. The biggest drag in the benchmark, electricity retailer Aboitiz Equity Ventures extended declines to its worst drop in over a month. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0429 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3235.08 3231.85 0.10 Bangkok 1607.3 1609.47 -0.13 Manila 7920.13 7933.71 -0.17 Jakarta 6134.059 6098.95 0.58 Kuala Lumpur 1593.75 1593.55 0.01 Ho Chi Minh 1013.7 1012.3 0.14 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3235.08 3068.76 5.42 Bangkok 1607.3 1563.88 2.78 Manila 7920.13 7,466.02 6.08 Jakarta 6134.059 6,194.50 -0.98 Kuala Lumpur 1593.75 1690.58 -5.73 Ho Chi Minh 1013.7 892.54 13.57 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)