SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on U.S-China trade deal hopes, Vietnam leads gains

    * 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%.

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 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