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SE Asia Stocks-Drop as U.S. to keep tariffs on China; Philippines falls most

    * U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal to be signed later on
    * Indonesia trade deficit in Dec likely narrowed - Reuters
    * Malaysia extends losses into fourth session

    By Sameer Manekar
    Jan 15 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on
Wednesday as broader confidence was dented ahead of the signing
of an initial Sino-U.S. trade deal following comments from
Washington that tariffs on Chinese goods would remain in place
for now. 
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that
the United States would maintain tariffs on Chinese goods until
the completion of a second phase of a U.S.-China trade
    U.S. President Donald Trump is slated to sign the Phase 1
trade agreement with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White
House later in the day.     
    "The limited nature of this (Phase 1) deal begs the question
of prospects for further progress on lowering trade barriers.
And reports that no further tariff reductions are likely until
after November's U.S. Presidential elections sets the stage for
"morning after" disappointment," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    Signs of goodwill came from both sides as the U.S. Treasury
Department dropped its designation of China as a currency
manipulator on Monday, while Beijing pledged to ramp up its buys
from the United States as part of the trade truce, according to
a source. 
    In Southeast Asia, the Philippine bourse dropped the
most as a volcanic eruption continued to darken the mood.
    Investors are uncertain regarding the Taal volcano eruption
and its impact on the country's gross domestic product, since
there is no exact prediction as to when the volcano might erupt,
Rachelle Cruz, analyst at AP Securities said.
    Financial and consumer firms were the top drags, with Bank
of the Philippine Islands and SM Investments Corp
 losing 1.8% and 1.1%, respectively.
    Singapore's benchmark index slipped 0.4%, with
Jardine Strategic Holdings and Wilmar International
 dropping 1.5% and 2.3%.
    Malaysian equities extended losses into a fourth
session, with Sime Darby Plantation and Digi.Com Bhd
 slipping 0.8% and 0.9%, respectively.
    Palm oil futures in Malaysia fell by their most in eight
months on Tuesday. India, world's largest buyer of edible oils,
has halted palm oil imports from Malaysia, the second-largest
global producer of palm oil.
    Indonesian shares were set to snap four sessions of
gains, with Telekomunikasi Indonesia and United
Tractors losing 0.8% and 2.8%, respectively.
    Trade deficit in Southeast Asia's largest economy is likely
to have narrowed in December, while exports are expected to have
shrunk 3.03% on-year in the month, a Reuters poll showed.

    Thai stocks were also poised to snap a four-session
winning streak.
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 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3257.96   3270.54         -0.38
 Bangkok                1586.05   1586.9          -0.05
 Manila                 7735.14   7793.25         -0.75
 Jakarta                6318.242  6325.406        -0.11
 Kuala Lumpur           1576.41   1580.6          -0.27
 Ho Chi Minh            966.63    967             -0.04
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3257.96   3222.83         1.09
 Bangkok                1586.05   1579.84         0.39
 Manila                 7735.14   7,815.26        -1.03
 Jakarta                6318.242  6,299.54        0.30
 Kuala Lumpur           1576.41   1588.76         -0.78
 Ho Chi Minh            966.63    960.99          0.59
 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry