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SE Asia Stocks-Most markets end higher; Philippines sees sharp recovery

    * Philippines sees worst week in a month
    * Vietnam posts best session in over 1 week
    * Malaysia records best weekly gain in over one month

    By Shruti Sonal
    Dec 20 (Reuters) - Philippine shares recovered from a near
one-year low to end higher on Friday, while most other Southeast
Asian markets were boosted by positive developments around the
Sino-U.S. interim trade deal.
    The Philippine benchmark closed up 1.6% after falling
as much as 2.4%, helped by financial and industrial stocks. For
the week, it shed over 1.3% — its worst weekly show in a month.
    Shares of utilities and banks have been volatile on tensions
over repealing of water contracts, and as reports of a central
bank probe on ten lenders for their ties with Australia's
scandal-hit Westpac Banking Corp emerged. 
    Adding to the volatility was the markets trying to align
with the rebalancing of the FTSE index due later in the day,
said Richard Laneda, a senior research manager at COL Financial
    Most other markets in the region rose after U.S. Treasury
Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the "phase one" trade deal will be
signed in early January.
    Aiding sentiment was China announcing a list of import
tariff exemptions for six oil and chemical products from the
United States.
    Malaysian equities closed 0.9% higher due to
strength in utilities and basic materials. They posted the
biggest intraday percentage gain in over one month.  
    The country's consumer price index (CPI) for November rose
less-than-expected because of a fall in prices of clothing and
footwear and lower transport costs, government data showed.

    Index heavyweights Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd
and Petronas Gas Bhd rose about 3.5% and 5%,
    Trade-sensitive Singapore eked out marginal gains,
while the Vietnam index saw its best session in over a
week as financials and real estate stocks rallied.
    Indonesian stocks reversed Thursday's losses, lifted
up by telecom and consumer sectors.

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3213.04   3207.42         0.15
 Bangkok                1575.46   1573.51         -0.04
 Manila                 7773.12   7653.94         1.56
 Jakarta                6284.372  6249.93         0.55
 Kuala Lumpur           1610.18   1596.01         0.91
 Ho Chi Minh            956.41    952.26          0.44
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3213.04   3068.76         4.70
 Bangkok                1575.46   1563.88         0.74
 Manila                 7773.12   7,466.02        4.11
 Jakarta                6284.372  6,194.50        1.45
 Kuala Lumpur           1610.18   1690.58         -4.76
 Ho Chi Minh            956.41    892.54          7.16
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)