SE Asia stocks flat

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    Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in a flat-to-lower range on Tuesday as hopes of a Sino-US trade deal subsided after Beijing indicated further talks were needed, while figures from China underlined the damage felt due to trade pressures.

    Bloomberg on Monday reported that China wants more talks to hammer out details of the “phase one” trade deal outlined by US President Donald Trump, adding that Beijing may send a delegation led by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to finalize a written deal.

    Traders cautioned that sentiment is fragile as the US-China trade war remains a risk to global growth.

    “The interpretations of what constitutes the trade deal … is different from both sides. China still wants to talk and the US thinks they had a deal on Friday,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA said.

    “There has not been a single detail published on the deal.”

    Meanwhile, denting market sentiment further was data, which showed that factory gate prices in China, the biggest trading partner of Southeast Asia, contracted for the third straight month in September, weighed by slowing demand and a long drawn-out trade war with the United States.

    Indonesian stocks edged higher after data showed that exports from Southeast Asia’s largest economy declined 5.74 percent on a yearly basis in September, but the figures came in better than Reuters’ expectations of 5.84 percent decline.

    Financials accounted for majority of the losses in the index, with PT Central Bank Asia and PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk declining 0.7 percent and 1.1 percent each.

    Vietnam stocks dipped 0.2 percent, dragged by real estate and utilities sectors.

    Vietnam Dairy Products JSC and Vinhomes JSC declined 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. – Reuters