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SE Asia Stocks-Most end firmer ahead of Sino-U.S. trade talks

* Vietnam March CPI likely down 0.21 pct m/m - govt data

* Thailand's pro-army party wins popular vote

By Shanima A

March 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets

closed higher on Thursday as report that Washington and Beijing

were making headway on their talks on trade helped bolster

sentiment, after recent sessions of steep sell-offs over global

growth worries.

Investors awaited the outcome of the next round of talks due

later in the day, on the backdrop of a Reuters report that both

economies have made progress in all areas under discussion in

trade talks, but sticking points still remain.

Separately, China's Premier Li Keqiang said he does not

think there is any trust deficit between Beijing and Washington,

and the country will sharply expand market access especially in

its financial services sector.

"Near-term direction of the market is very much dependent on

a trade resolution between the U.S. and China. Trade resolution

will boost confidence that global growth has troughed," said,

Paul Chew Kuan Leng, Head Of Research, Phillip Securities


Leading the gains in the regional markets, Vietnam shares

ended 0.7 percent firmer, boosted by strength in the real

estate sector, with Vinhomes JSC adding 3.3 percent.

Government data showed that the country's Consumer Price

Index (CPI) is likely 0.21 percent lower in March, compared with

the previous month.

Singapore shares ended 0.2 percent firmer. Casino

operator Genting Singapore Ltd closed 1 percent

higher, while conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd

edged 0.4 percent higher.

Thai shares closed 0.3 percent higher, after the

Election Commission said the pro-army party won the popular vote

in general election.

The pro-army Palang Pracharat Party gained 8.4 million

ballots, while the main opposition Pheu Thai Party got 7.9

million vote, the election commission said.

Shares of Airports of Thailand PCL were among the

top gainers on the index, while telecom provider Advanced Info

Service PCL closed 1.1 percent firmer.

Meanwhile, a senior Thai central bank official said the

country's monetary policy committee did not "close the door" on

raising interest rates this year.

The Malaysian benchmark index was the only outlier,

ending 0.1 percent lower.

The index extended declines to close at its lowest in more

than three months after the Malaysian central bank projected a

gloomy growth outlook for this year.

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Change on day

Market Current Previous Close Pct Move

Singapore 3203.58 3198.39 0.16

Bangkok 1634.25 1629.4 0.30

Manila 7876.4 7861.05 0.20

Jakarta 6480.788 6444.738 0.56

Kuala Lumpur 1641.33 1642.73 -0.09

Ho Chi Minh 982.98 975.91 0.72

Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move

Singapore 3203.58 3068.76 4.39

Bangkok 1634.25 1563.88 4.50

Manila 7876.4 8558.42 -7.97

Jakarta 6480.788 6194.498 4.62

Kuala Lumpur 1641.33 1690.58 -2.91

Ho Chi Minh 982.98 984.24 -0.13

($1 = 0.8885 euros)

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry