SE Asia Stocks-Rise ahead of Trump's trade policy address

By Anushka Trivedi

* Markets await Trump's speech * Bangkok Life Assurance posts upbeat quarterly results * Vietcombank rises on deal with FWD Group By Anushka Trivedi Nov 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian markets eked out modest gains on Tuesday, with trade-sensitive Singapore shares rising the most as investors eagerly await a key speech by U.S. President Donald Trump for clues on a U.S.-China trade deal. Later in the day, Trump is scheduled to address U.S. trade policy at the Economic Club of New York, and markets will tune in for any upbeat commentary since his remark on Friday, that he had not agreed to roll back tariffs, had dented prospect of an imminent trade pact. Hopes of positive news from the event boosted Shanghai as well as Hong Kong stocks. In a low volume session, Singapore shares jumped 0.8% on strength in industrial stocks. The index had shed about 1.4% over the past two days. "An improvement in U.S.-China trade relations leaves Singapore poised better than most, to gain an immediate benefit," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA said in a note. "The worsening situation in Hong Kong will almost certainly benefit Singapore in the longer-term, as investment decisions between the two become no-brainer right now," he added. Conglomerates Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd and Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd added 4.8% and 2.6%, respectively. Thai shares advanced as Bangkok Life Assurance's jump in quarterly profit propelled the financials higher while telco Advanced Info Service PCL tacked on 2.2%. Vietnam's main index rose 0.2%, buoyed by financials. Insurer FWD Group is set to acquire a unit of Vietcombank , the country's top lender and forge an exclusive 15-year bancassurance tie-up with the bank, in a deal valued at about $400 million. Vietcombank's shares closed up 0.4%. Meanwhile, customs data showed Vietnam's trade surplus widened to $1.86 billion in October as exports rose, when compared to the previous month. Philippine shares ended flat after trading lower throughout the session as investors picked up heavyweight stocks SM Prime Holdings Inc and BDO Unibank Inc at the last minute. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3267.8 3240.65 0.84 Bangkok 1626.2 1622.12 0.25 Manila 8012.34 8009.38 0.04 Jakarta 6180.992 6148.74 0.52 Kuala Lumpur 1609.73 1608.15 0.10 Ho Chi Minh 1018.33 1016.75 0.16 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3267.8 3068.76 6.49 Bangkok 1626.2 1563.88 3.98 Manila 8012.34 7,466.02 7.32 Jakarta 6180.992 6,194.50 -0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1609.73 1690.58 -4.78 Ho Chi Minh 1018.33 892.54 14.09 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)