SE Asia Stocks-Vietnam leads declines as most markets slide on trade tensions

    * Vietnamese shares hit near-three-week closing low
    * Thai energy stocks drag on index as oil prices tumble
    * Malaysia Oct inflation rises 1.1%, above Reuters forecast

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Nov 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets slipped on
Wednesday on fears that strained Sino-U.S. relations could
derail trade negotiations after U.S President Donald Trump
threatened fresh tariffs and the U.S. Senate passed a bill
backing Hong Kong protesters. 
    President Trump on Tuesday said that tariffs on Chinese
imports would be increased if the two nations fail to reach a
trade deal.
    People familiar with the talks say that Trump has decided
that any tariff rollbacks from the United States would require
deeper concessions from China.
    The U.S. Senate, meanwhile, has passed a bill aimed at
protecting human rights of pro-democracy protesters in Hong
Kong, drawing a rebuke from Beijing, which asked the United
States to stop interfering in China's internal affairs.

    "Such a move threatens to drive a wedge into ongoing
U.S.-China negotiations while potentially raising the barrier to
a trade deal," FXTM market analyst Han Tan said in a note,
referring to the bill. 
    Leading declines, Vietnamese shares fell 0.8% to
their lowest close since Oct. 31, with financials weighing on
the index.
    A steep drop in oil prices drove the Thai index 0.7%
lower, with heavyweight energy company PTT PCL shedding
as much as 2.3% to close at its lowest in more than two months. 
    Philippines stocks clawed back losses to end 0.2%
down, hurt by miner Semirara Mining and Power Corp, 
which fell 6.6% for its biggest daily drop since November last
    It's majority owner DMCI Holdings shed 8.4% to its
lowest closing level in nearly eight years. 
    Semirara flagged significant loss in production potential
because of a Department of Energy directive asking it to suspend
all mining activities in relation to a coal contract, citing a
mudflow incident in October.
    Malaysian shares shed 0.3%, with power utility
Tenaga Nasional falling 0.7% and telecoms company
Axiata Group down 1.4%.
    The index pared losses after data showed Malaysia's consumer
prices grew by 1.1% in October, slightly higher than a 1%
increase forecast by Reuters.
    Mild inflation in recent times and sluggish economic growth
in the third quarter, combined with a slump in exports and
mining, have fuelled expectations of a rate cut by Malaysia's
central bank early next year.

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3229.78   3238.87         -0.28
 Bangkok                1596.83   1607.25         -0.65
 Manila                 7898.06   7912.14         -0.18
 Jakarta                6155.109  6152.09         0.05
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.14   1605.31         -0.26
 Ho Chi Minh            1000.56   1008.35         -0.77
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3229.78   3068.76         5.25
 Bangkok                1596.83   1563.88         2.11
 Manila                 7898.06   7,466.02        5.79
 Jakarta                6155.109  6,194.50        -0.64
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.14   1690.58         -5.29
 Ho Chi Minh            1000.56   892.54          12.10
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta
Editing by David Goodman)