Trade in tight range, investors focus on Sino-US talks

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(Feb 12): Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in a tight range on Tuesday, as Washington and Beijing started a new round of talks on Monday to resolve their months-long trade dispute that has rattled equities globally since last year.

U.S. and Chinese officials expressed hopes that the new round of talks would bring them closer to striking a deal but the White House economic adviser dampened sentiment when he warned that March 1 is the "real deadline".

Stock markets across broader Asia remained largely unchanged in early trade.

Indonesian shares fell about 0.4%, making them the top losers in Southeast Asia, pressured by telecom and consumer stocks. 

Telekom Indonesia skidded as much as 1.8%, while automotive services provider Astra International Tbk PT lost 2.5%.

Philippine shares declined slightly, dragged by real estate and industrial stocks. Meanwhile, the country's trade deficit narrowed in December, as imports tumbled for the first time in a year.

Malaysian shares slipped 0.2%, dragged by material and healthcare stocks.

Chemical producer Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd fell 2%, while hospital operator IHH Healthcare Bhd dropped 2.5%.

Vietnam shares climbed 0.7% with real state and financial stocks leading the gains.    

Property developer Vingroup JSC scaled 1.9%, while Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam gained 2.4%.

Thailand shares traded sideways after the Election Commission on Monday disqualified the princess from taking part in the election.
        
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0345 GMT    
                          
 Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3210.84 3206.27 0.14
Bangkok 1641.58 1638 0.22
Manila 8042.23 8061.54 -0.24
Jakarta 6470.008 6495.002 -0.38
Kuala Lumpur 1685.86 1688.56 -0.16
Ho Chi Minh 932.56 926.1 0.70

 Change on year

Market Current End 2018 Pct Move
Singapore 3210.84 3068.76 4.63
Bangkok 1641.58 1563.88 4.97
Manila 8042.23 7466.02 7.72
Jakarta 6470.008 6194.498 4.45
Kuala Lumpur 1685.86 1690.58 -0.28
Ho Chi Minh 932.56 892.54 4.48