SE Asia Stocks-Most markets steady on progress in Sino-U.S. trade pact

    * U.S., China "close to finalising" parts of trade deal - officials
    * The Philippines leads gains, lifted by financial firms 
    * U.S. suspends $1.3 bln in trade preferences for Thailand

    By Sameer Manekar
    Oct 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, lifted
by hopes that Washington and Beijing were close to finalising parts of a trade
pact, while the Thai bourse dropped nearly 1% after the United States suspended
duty-free trade with the country for certain items last week.
    Chinese and U.S. officials are "close to finalising" some parts of a trade
agreement after high-level telephone discussions on Friday, the U.S. Trade
Representative's office and China's Commerce Ministry said, with talks to
    U.S. President Donald Trump has said he hopes to sign the deal with China's
President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.
    Investors also await the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision due later
this week, amid a slew of mixed corporate earnings and concerns of global
economic slowdown. A rate cut is expected from the meeting, Fed's third this
year, according to a Reuters poll.
    However, investor sentiment remained subdued amid concerns of global
economic slowdown and recession.
    "Investors are finding it difficult to put on a brave face despite the trade
calm as the recent spate of economic downgrades and increasing recession risks
continue to cloud consumer outlooks," Stephen Innes, market strategist at
AxiTrader said in a note.
    Indonesian stocks recovered from their biggest drop since Sept. 16
hit in their previous session.
    Huge gains in the consumer sector pushed the index up, with poultry feed
producer Charoen Pokphand Indonesia and Unilever Indonesia
rising 3% and 0.8%, respectively.
    The Philippine bourse gained on the back of financial firms, with BDO
Unibank and Metropolitan Bank and Trust adding 2% and 3.1%,
    Vietnam's benchmark index edged a tick higher, and was poised to
close firmer for a fifth consecutive session.
    Financials and consumer firms were among the top gainers, with Bank for
Investment and Development of Vietnam and Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage
Corp adding 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively.
    Thai stocks were trading flat after losing as much as nearly 1%
earlier in the session.
    Last week, Trump suspended duty-free trade for certain items with Thailand,
with U.S. Trade Representative's office saying the move amounted to a suspension
of $1.3 billion in trade preferences.
    Consumer and real-estate sectors took the biggest hit, with CP All PCL
 and real estate developer Central Pattana PCL losing 0.3%
and 0.8%, respectively.
    Singapore and Malaysia markets were closed for public holidays.
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 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Bangkok                1593.41  1593.28         0.01
 Manila                 7939.99  7922.5          0.22
 Jakarta                6260.94  6252.345        0.14
 Ho Chi Minh            997.23   996.57          0.07
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3185.53  3068.76         3.81
 Bangkok                1593.41  1563.88         1.89
 Manila                 7939.99  7,466.02        6.35
 Jakarta                6260.94  6,194.50        1.07
 Kuala Lumpur           1570     1690.58         -7.13
 Ho Chi Minh            997.23   892.54          11.73
 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)