(Corrects 2nd bullet and 8th paragraph to say Singapore manufacturing output expected to slow, not contract) * Philippine bourse falls as much as 1.3% * SG Nov manufacturing output expected to slow - Reuters poll * Most Southeast Asian stock markets set to post gains in 2019 By Sameer Manekar Dec 26 (Reuters) - Philippine shares retreated on Thursday after two sessions of sharp gains, while financials dragged the Singapore benchmark lower ahead of manufacturing data due later in the day. Trading in most Southeast Asian markets, however, was below a third of their 30-day average volume as traders settled in for year-end holidays. The Manila bourse fell 0.7%, the most in the region, weighed down by banking and real estate stocks. Financial markets in the Philippines were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the index gained almost 3% in the previous two trading sessions. Real estate firms SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land fell 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively, while BDO Unibank lost as much as 1.6%. Singapore's benchmark index was on course to snap three straight sessions of gains, hurt by weakness in blue-chip banking stocks. Southeast Asia's biggest lender DBS Group Holdings slid as much as 0.7%. The trade-reliant city-state's manufacturing output in November is expected to slow from a year earlier, according to a Reuters poll, after unexpectedly rising in October. Markets were pensive even as U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign the first phase of the trade deal agreed to this month. Striking a cautious note, MIDF said it expects global market uncertainty to persist and affect world trade activities in 2020. "We view President Trump to cause further market uncertainty in 2020 due to the presidential elections," the brokerage said. Thai equities were marginally higher on the back of gains in energy and industrial firms. PTT Exploration and Production and Airports of Thailand rose 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively. Indonesian shares were set for their third straight session of gains, lifted by financials and consumer stocks. Bank Central Asia rose as much as 0.5%, while Unilever Indonesia gained 1.4%. Malaysia's benchmark index was little changed, while Vietnam stocks declined. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0332 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3209.51 3221.67 -0.38 Bangkok 1575.84 1573 0.18 Manila 7817 7872.6 -0.71 Jakarta 6316.778 6305.91 0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1604.68 1604.23 0.03 Ho Chi Minh 959.6 960.92 -0.14 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3209.51 3068.76 4.59 Bangkok 1575.84 1563.88 0.76 Manila 7817 7,466.02 4.70 Jakarta 6316.778 6,194.50 1.97 Kuala Lumpur 1604.68 1690.58 -5.08 Ho Chi Minh 959.6 892.54 7.51 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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