SE Asia Stocks-Most tick up on trade optimism; Indonesia sees best day in month

By Anushka Trivedi

* Trump says China trade deal could be 'soon' * Singapore flat ahead of industrial output data * Philippines cenbank decision awaited By Anushka Trivedi Sept 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged higher on Thursday, with Indonesian shares gaining the most, as hints of progress in talks to resolve the U.S.-China tariff dispute lifted investor mood and tempered a shadow over the global economic outlook. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said a deal to end the longstanding trade war between world's two biggest economies, which has caused a pall over global fiscal growth, could happen sooner than expected. Trump's comments sparked a rally in global equities but gains in Southeast Asia were limited in a low-volume trading session as the unpredictable nature of the trade spat has caused immense volatility in the regional markets over the past year. "Market sentiment remains fragile and ultra-sensitive to any development around the U.S.-China trade conflict," Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM said in a note. "Considering the fact that a rapid deterioration in U.S.-China relations is not without precedence, investors will continue scouring the horizon for any signals that can push risk sentiment either way," he added. Leading gains in the region, Indonesian stocks marked their best session in a month, underpinned by financials. Lenders Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT rose 1.9% and 1.2%, respectively. Thai stocks edged up 0.6% after the central bank stood pat on interest rates. The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday scaled down its 2019 economic and export forecast, with analysts at OCBC expecting a rate cut in the fourth quarter. The Singapore index was trading steady ahead of the release of its monthly industrial production figures, which are expected to contract by 0.7% on-year. The Philippine benchmark index dipped as investors kept a cautious stance ahead of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas policy decision later in the day where a 25 bps cut is largely anticipated. Losses in the industrial sector weighed, with International Container Terminal Services Inc and Alliance Global Group Inc being the biggest drags in the index. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) slashed https://www.bworldonline.com/adb-slashes-forecasts-for-philippine-economic-growth-with-much-of-asia its growth outlook for the Philippine economy for years 2019 and 2020, citing slowdown in the global growth and in domestic investment. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0409 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3125.06 3125.82 -0.02 Bangkok 1637.48 1628.38 0.56 Manila 7888.91 7896.24 -0.09 Jakarta 6193.728 6146.404 0.77 Kuala Lumpur 1591.15 1589.58 0.10 Ho Chi Minh 987.62 987.3 0.03 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3125.06 3068.76 1.83 Bangkok 1637.48 1563.88 4.71 Manila 7888.91 7,466.02 5.66 Jakarta 6193.728 6,194.50 -0.01 Kuala Lumpur 1591.15 1690.58 -5.88 Ho Chi Minh 987.62 892.54 10.65 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)