* Senior Iran official killed in U.S. airstrike * The Philippine index closes at more than one-week high * Singapore stocks dragged lower by financials By Shruti Sonal Jan 3 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets trimmed early gains on Friday as mounting Middle Eastern tensions dented sentiment, while the Philippine index closed 1.3% firmer after investors picked up beaten-down stocks. Risk appetite across global markets faltered after U.S. airstrikes at Baghdad airport killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, heightening geopolitical tensions. Most regional markets pulled back from session highs yet ended in the black, with most of them posting solid weekly gains, as a steady growth in China's production activity and its central bank announcing a cut in banks' reserve ratio supported the mood. Against the backdrop of a thaw in trade tensions between the United States and China, global markets had seen renewed appetite for risk assets. "Investors appear to bet that the initial caution will pass, preferring to focus on the broader global recovery story," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. The Philippine index on Friday rebounded from previous session's sharp decline to close at its highest in more than a week, underpinned by industrial and consumer stocks. The index gained 0.3% for the week. "The PSE has managed to bounce from yesterday mainly on bargain hunting after the first day slump," said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, senior economist at ING. Universal Robina Corp and JG Summit Holdings Inc were the top percentage gainers in the benchmark index. Thai shares closed flat after rising to their highest in more than five weeks. Losses in industrial and healthcare stocks offset gains in energy shares that had rallied earlier in the day after the U.S. airstrike stoked concerns about oil supply disruptions. Airports of Thailand Pcl fell as much as 2% following brokerage Jefferies' note that said it expected the company's domestic passengers growth to remain in a downward trend in 2020. The Singapore index was dragged lower by financials, but the benchmark posted weekly gains of 0.3%. DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd slid about 1% each after China's Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holdings, said it had joined the race for a digital banking licence in the city-state. Malaysian equities ended 0.5% higher, lifted by healthcare and basic materials stocks, with the benchmark posting weekly gains of 0.1%. Data showed that Malaysia's exports dropped for the fourth straight month in November, contracting 5.5% from a year earlier, though slower than the 6.7% fall recorded in October. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3238.82 3252 -0.41 Bangkok 1594.97 1595.82 -0.05 Manila 7839.79 7742.53 1.26 Jakarta 6323.466 6283.581 0.63 Kuala Lumpur 1611.38 1602.5 0.55 Ho Chi Minh 965.14 966.67 -0.16 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3238.82 3222.83 0.50 Bangkok 1594.97 1579.84 0.96 Manila 7839.79 7,815.26 0.31 Jakarta 6323.466 6,299.54 0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1611.38 1588.76 1.42 Ho Chi Minh 965.14 960.99 0.43 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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