Most Southeast Asian markets rose on Friday, with the inclusion of China stocks in a key emerging markets index boosting sentiment, although caution set in as global trade war fears reignited after the United States imposed fresh import tariffs.
China A-shares' long-awaited inclusion in MSCI's benchmark market indexes, a step toward deeper integration of the country's bourses with the rest of the world, is expected to help foreign inflows surge in the coming months.
U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports against the European Union, Canada and Mexico ended months of uncertainty about potential exemptions and suggested a hardening of the Trump administration's approach to trade negotiations.
While Canada and Mexico retaliated against the decision, the European Union had its own reprisals ready to go.
Asia shares ex-Japan inched up, while Wall Street fell overnight.
In Southeast Asia, Vietnam rose as much as 2.4 percent, with industrials gaining as factories saw record growth in new export orders last month.
Vietjet Aviation climbed nearly 7 percent, while Vietcombank rose as much as 6.3 percent.
Malaysian shares extended gains for a second day, buoyed by financials. Malayan Banking rose as much as 3.5 percent.
The Philippine index climbed 0.6 percent, helped by real estate and consumer stocks. SM Investments Corp was up 1.8 percent, while Ayala Land rose 1.8 percent.
Thai shares edged down, with oil and gas producer PTT falling as much as 1.9 percent.
Thailand's annual headline inflation in May rose to its highest level in sixteen months, but well within the central bank's target range of 1-4 percent.
Singapore shares were little changed, while markets in Indonesia were closed for a local holiday.