March 7, 2019 / 4:09 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Eke out small gains as global growth concerns return

    * Philippines on track for 2nd session of gains
    * Singapore set to snap two straight days of falls 

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    March 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks edged higher in
thin trading on Thursday as investors remained on the sidelines
with the return of global growth concerns.  
    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development
(OECD) cut its forecasts for the global economy in 2019 and
2020, following on from previous downgrades in November, as it
warned that trade disputes and economic uncertainty over Brexit
would hit world commerce and businesses.
    Philippine stocks were poised to rise for a second
session with all sectors except real estate stocks in the
positive territory.
    Vietnam index added 0.5 percent, boosted by financial
and energy sectors.
    Vingroup JSC, the country's largest-listed firm by
market value, rose 3.2 percent, while oil and gas refiner
Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp advanced 0.4 percent.
    Meanwhile, data released in early hours showed that U.S.
goods trade deficit surged to a record high in 2018 as strong
demand fueled by lower taxes pulled in imports, despite the
Trump administration's "America First" policies, including
tariffs aimed at shrinking the trade gap.
    This comes at a time when China's exports probably
contracted in February after a surprise bounce in January, while
imports fell for a third straight month, a Reuters poll showed,
highlighting deepening concerns of a long-drawn trade spat
between the world's largest economies.
    Chinese trade data is due on Friday. 
    Singapore stocks were on track to snap two straight
sessions of losses, supported by consumer and financial stocks,
with United Overseas Bank Ltd and Jardine Cycle &
Carriage Ltd firming 0.5 percent and 0.9 percent,
respectively.
    Thai index and Malaysian stocks were
marginally higher. 
    The Indonesian market is closed on account of a
public holiday. 
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0341 GMT
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3229.46   3222.84         0.21
 Bangkok                1628.61   1625.51         0.19
 Manila                 7859.96   7821.34         0.49
 Kuala Lumpur           1688.63   1686.82         0.11
 Ho Chi Minh            999.23    994.49          0.48
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3229.46   3068.76         5.24
 Bangkok                1628.61   1563.88         4.14
 Manila                 7859.96   7,466.02        5.28
 Jakarta                6457.956  6,194.50        4.25
 Kuala Lumpur           1688.63   1690.58         -0.12
 Ho Chi Minh            999.23    892.54          11.95
 

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Shreejay Sinha)
  
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