SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on trade war uncertainty; Singapore leads declines

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

* Philippines poised for fifth straight day of losses * Singapore dips ahead of inflation data * Vietnam sole gainer in the region By Shriya Ramakrishnan Sept 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian shares fell on Monday, with Singapore taking the biggest hit, as investors remained wary on U.S.-China trade talk progress after mixed signals from ongoing negotiations. Both the United States and China described their talks as "productive" and "constructive", with the U.S. Trade Representative's office adding that high-level negotiations will take place in October, as previously planned. However, sentiment was dampened after Chinese officials unexpectedly cancelled a visit to U.S. farm states and President Donald Trump reiterated that he favoured a complete trade deal with China. "A China-U.S. trade deal in October is still considered possible but improbable. There are no concrete signs that the U.S. is ready for an interim trade deal that would lead to a tariff truce," according to a DBS Bank note. Leading declines in the region, Singapore's benchmark index dipped 0.4%, ahead of key inflation data release. Consumer and financial stocks dragged the index, with shares of heavyweights DBS Group Holdings Ltd and Capitaland Ltd falling between 0.3% and 0.9%. A Reuters poll expects the city-state's core inflation figures for August to remain unchanged from July, when inflation eased to its slowest pace in more than three years, prompting authorities to downgrade their full-year forecast amid firming bets for monetary policy easing. Philippine's index dropped 0.4% and were on track to extend losses for a fifth straight session, dragged by industrial and utility stocks. Power generation firm Aboitiz Power Corp and GT Capital Holdings Inc shed as much as 2.4% each. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is set to review its policy later this week. Governor Benjamin Diokno has flagged a further quarter-point interest rate reduction before the end of 2019 to shore up economic growth and said inflation forecast for September will guide its policy decision. Thai stocks shed about 0.4%, touching their lowest level in nearly four weeks, dragged by losses in the telecom and energy sector. Oil and gas firm PTT PCL and mobile operator Advanced Info Service Pcl fell 0.6% and 1.8%, respectively. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's benchmark index, which has outperformed most of its peers by a vast margin so far this year, gained 0.2%, lifted by consumer and energy stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as on 0355 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3147.28 3159.68 -0.39 Bangkok 1630.18 1636.2 -0.37 Manila 7842.51 7871.11 -0.36 Jakarta 6219.616 6231.473 -0.19 Kuala Lumpur 1592.23 1597.41 -0.32 Ho Chi Minh 992 990.36 0.17 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3147.28 3068.76 2.56 Bangkok 1630.18 1563.88 4.24 Manila 7842.51 7,466.02 5.04 Jakarta 6219.616 6,194.50 0.41 Kuala Lumpur 1592.23 1690.58 -5.82 Ho Chi Minh 992 892.54 11.14 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru ; Editing by Rashmi Aich)