SE Asia Stocks-Most edge lower as China factory-gate prices shrink

By Shreya Mariam Job

* Philippines snaps four straight sessions of gains * Malaysia's Axiata hits over 4-month closing low By Shreya Mariam Job Sept 10 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets reversed gains on Tuesday to close slightly lower as China's deepening factory deflation dampened investor sentiment, with Malaysia dragged lower by telecom giant Axiata. China, the region's biggest trading partner, saw factory-gate prices shrink at the sharpest pace in three years in August, falling deeper into deflationary territory and reinforcing the urgency for Beijing to step up economic stimulus. Malaysian stocks were the top losers in Southeast Asia, with Axiata Group Bhd shedding 15.8% to its lowest close in over four months after talks with Norway's Telenor to set up a joint venture fell through. "This removes the prospect for $5 billion of potential deal synergies," brokerage Jefferies said in a research note. Bhd, a unit of Telenor, dropped 5.9%. Investors now await a central bank policy meeting on Thursday for clues on interest rates. A Reuters poll shows Bank Negara Malaysia is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged. Philippine stocks dropped 0.4%, snapping four straight sessions of gains, following weak trade data for July. The country's trade deficit widened to $3.39 billion in July from $2.47 billion in June. Financials dragged the benchmark stock index lower, with SM Prime Holdings Inc and Bank of the Philippine Islands shedding 1.2% and 2.7%, respectively. Vietnam shares fell 0.4%, dragged by consumer and financial stocks. Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp and BaoViet Holdings dipped 1.1% and 3.6%, respectively. Thai shares slipped 0.3%, pulled down by telecom and consumer stocks. Singapore and Indonesian stocks closed slightly higher. Singapore's Straits Times Index gained 0.3% on the back of industrials. "For the industrial sector, it helps that oil prices have stayed resilient during this period of time and are slowly trending higher, which bodes well for our offshore and marine sector," said Liu Jinshu, director of research at Tayrona Financial. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd gained 3.1%, while industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd rose 1.8%. In Indonesia, financials helped the benchmark stock index close 0.2% higher. Retail sales grew 2.4% in July after a 1.8% decline a month earlier. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3155.71 3146.33 0.30 Bangkok 1665.93 1671.22 -0.32 Manila 7929.48 7960.12 -0.38 Jakarta 6336.673 6326.213 0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1595.85 1604.47 -0.54 Ho Chi Minh 970.26 974.12 -0.40 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3155.71 3068.76 2.83 Bangkok 1665.93 1563.88 6.53 Manila 7929.48 7,466.02 6.21 Jakarta 6336.673 6,194.50 2.30 Kuala Lumpur 1595.85 1690.58 -5.60 Ho Chi Minh 970.26 892.54 8.71 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)