* Vietnam's FY GDP betters govt target * Singapore shares close at 5-week high * Philippine ends lower on last-minute selling By Anushka Trivedi Dec 27 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Friday, with Vietnam hitting a two-week closing high, buoyed by optimism that the United States and China were inching closer to signing a Phase 1 trade deal. China on Wednesday said that it was in close contact with Washington about an initial trade agreement, shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump said a signing ceremony would be held for the recently struck deal. Optimism from progress in the trade negotiations has supported regional equities for the past two sessions, although trading remained subdued on account of the year-end holidays. Leading gains in the region, Vietnam's main index tacked on 0.5%, recouping most of the losses it suffered earlier in the session, after data showed that its economy expanded at a better pace than targeted by the government in 2019. The index closed at its highest level since Dec. 13 and posted weekly gains of 0.7%. "Vietnam's growth outlook is likely to stay fairly resilient with easing trade tension and tentative signs of mild recovery in external environment," a Mizuho Bank note said. Financial and real estate stocks dominated gains on the benchmark, with Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Vinhomes JSC adding 4.5% and 0.6%, respectively. Trade-sensitive Singapore shares edged up to close at a five-week high, boosted by consumer stocks. The benchmark rose 0.4% this week. Food processor Wilmar International Ltd was the top performer on the index as it jumped 1.7%, its highest since Dec 13. The Malaysian index firmed 0.4%, helped by gains in healthcare and banking stocks. The index was little changed for the week. Thai shares were flat at the end of the session, but the index rose 0.3% for the week. The Philippine benchmark index fell 0.3% as investors sold off big cap stocks at the fag end of the session. The index was up as much as 0.6% earlier in the day. The country's biggest listed firm SM Investments Corp dropped 1.2% and Ayala Land Inc slumped 1.9%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3226.53 3222.99 0.11 Bangkok 1578.22 1579.03 -0.05 Manila 7815.26 7842.28 -0.34 Jakarta 6329.314 6319.443 0.16 Kuala Lumpur 1610.61 1603.55 0.44 Ho Chi Minh 963.51 958.59 0.51 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3226.53 3068.76 5.14 Bangkok 1578.22 1563.88 0.92 Manila 7815.26 7,466.02 4.68 Jakarta 6329.314 6,194.50 2.18 Kuala Lumpur 1610.61 1690.58 -4.73 Ho Chi Minh 963.51 892.54 7.95 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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