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SE Asia Stocks-End lower on growth woes; Malaysia closes at near 2-yr low

* Drop in Singapore shares a "knee-jerk reaction" to Wall

Street -

analyst

* Vietnam posts fourth straight day of losses

* Thailand closes at its lowest since Aug 25, 2017

By Rashmi Ashok

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower

on Tuesday, with Malaysian shares touching their weakest close

in nearly two years, after heightened worries about global

growth stoked a sell-off on Wall Street.

Investors found little solace in Chinese President Xi

Jinping's speech at the 40th anniversary of China's move toward

market liberalisation, as he called for implementation of

reforms but offered no new specific measures.

MSCI's broadest index of Asian shares ex-Japan

dipped 0.9 percent in mid-afternoon trade, as

worries dented risk sentiment and sent investors scurrying away

from risky assets.

Singapore stocks, the region's worst performer,

reversed course from previous session to end 2.2 percent weaker,

with financials underpinning losses.

"I don't think this slump will last as it was reportedly due

to a fund liquidation activity," Liu Jinshu, director of

research at NRA Capital, said, terming the sharp drop as a

"knee-jerk reaction" to the slump in Wall Street.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest

rates on Wednesday, which would be its fourth hike this year.

Markets will scrutinise the Fed's two-day policy meeting, which

starts on Tuesday, for its sense of how the economy is holding

up amid a U.S.-China trade conflict and global financial market

volatility.

"We may see a relief recovery as people await the latest Fed

decision," Jinshu added.

Malaysian stocks pared early losses to their lowest

close since Dec 28, 2016, with Sime Darby Plantation Berhad

being the biggest percentage loser on the index.

Vietnam's index closed at its fourth straight session

of declines, dragged down by real estate and consumer stocks.

Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Co lost 1.6

percent, while insurance provider Baoviet Holdings

closed 4.7 percent weaker.

Philippine shares closed 1.3 percent lower, dented by

industrial and financial stocks, with conglomerate SM

Investments Corp ending 2.1 percent weaker.

Thailand shares extended losses into a fourth

session, closing at their lowest since Aug 25, 2017.

Energy stocks, the biggest drag on the index, notched losses

after oil prices dropped for a third session on reports of

growing inventory and forecast of record U.S. shale output.

In Indonesia, the benchmark index posted its third

straight session in the negative terrain, with financial stocks

being the main laggards.

For Asian Companies click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Change on the day

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3045.54 3114.25 -2.21

Bangkok 1583.19 1601.48 -1.14

Manila 7420.4 7520.4 -1.33

Jakarta 6081.867 6089.305 -0.12

Kuala Lumpur 1635.31 1641.62 -0.38

Ho Chi Minh 927.25 933.65 -0.69

Change on year

Market Current End prev yr Pct Move

Singapore 3045.54 3402.92 -10.50

Bangkok 1583.19 1753.71 -9.72

Manila 7420.4 8,558.42 -13.30

Jakarta 6081.867 6,355.65 -4.31

Kuala Lumpur 1635.31 1796.81 -8.99

Ho Chi Minh 927.25 984.24 -5.79

(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry

Jacob-Phillips)