* Singapore on track to post first quarterly gain in four * Philippines, Indonesia set to post third straight qtrly gain * Thailand trade data due later in the day * Asia stocks ex-Japan up 0.5 pct By Shanima A March 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday, with Thailand leading the pack, boosted by optimism around progress in U.S.-China trade talks, while Singapore index was on track for its first quarterly gain in four. Sentiment was lifted after a report that in an unprecedented move, China has made proposals in talks with the U.S. on a range of issues, including on forced technology transfer. The issue around technological transfer has proved a tough one for negotiators between the world's largest economies, as U.S. officials say China has previously refused to acknowledge the problem exists to the extent alleged by the United States, making discussing a resolution difficult. "While the feel-good factor from China may see stock markets in the green...., short-term sentiment will be highly vulnerable to headlines coming out of the talks, which could cause aggressive short-term volatility, bullish or bearish," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst - Asia Pacific at OANDA, in a note. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5 percent. Thailand shares hit their highest in one-week, rising 0.6 percent - the highest in the region. Trade data for the country in February is due later in the day. Singapore index rose 0.5 percent, with shares of DBS Group Holdings Ltd gaining 0.7 percent. The index was also heading for a quarterly gain of about 5 percent. The real estate investment trusts (REITs) have been real outperformers in the Singapore market during the quarter on expectations of lower interest rates going forward, said Joel Ng, an analyst at KGI Securities. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will hold its next monetary policy decision meeting in April. Malaysian shares gained 0.5 percent, after two straight sessions of declines. Instant food products maker Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd rose as much as 1.6 percent. The Philippine benchmark rose 0.3 percent and was on its course for the third straight quarter of gain. However on a weekly basis, it was set to post its first decline in four weeks. Meanwhile, Indonesian stocks fell 0.5 percent, hurt by declines in consumer staples sectors. Animal feeds maker Charoen Pokphand Indonesia Tbk PT was among the top decliners on the index falling more than 8 percent. The benchmark was on track to post its third consecutive quarterly gain. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0401 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3220.5 3203.58 0.53 Bangkok 1643.85 1634.25 0.59 Manila 7899.36 7876.4 0.29 Jakarta 6445.856 6480.788 -0.54 Kuala Lumpur 1649.35 1641.33 0.49 Ho Chi Minh 986.92 982.98 0.40 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3220.5 3068.76 4.94 Bangkok 1643.85 1563.88 5.11 Manila 7899.36 7,466.02 5.80 Jakarta 6445.856 6,194.50 4.06 Kuala Lumpur 1649.35 1690.58 -2.44 Ho Chi Minh 986.92 892.54 10.57 (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.