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SE Asia Stocks-Most gain; Trump's Asia trip boosts prospects of better U.S. ties

By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri

Nov 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets firmed

on Monday, with Vietnam hitting a fresh near-decade high, as

U.S. President Donald Trump's ongoing Asia tour boosted

prospects of better ties between Washington and the region.

During a bilateral visit to Vietnam, Trump offered to

mediate in the dispute over the South China Sea, where four

Southeast Asian countries and Taiwan contest China's sweeping

claims to the busy waterway.

"The Southeast Asian equity markets are up by the confidence

brought about by the ASEAN conference which should boost

economic ties in the Philippines and other nations with the U.S,

Canada and Australia", said Manny Cruz, an analyst at the

Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc.

Leaders from China, the United States and seven other

nations are joining the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian

Nations (ASEAN) at their annual summit in Manila.

The sheer length of the trip - the longest to Asia by a U.S.

president in more than a quarter century - may reassure some

that, despite Trump's "America First" policy, Washington remains

committed to a region China sees as its strategic domain.

Vietnam shares surged as much as 1 percent to hit

their highest since January 2008, boosted by the consumer

staples sector.

Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Co advanced 3.7

percent to hit a record high.

Philippine shares rose 0.4 percent, led real estate

and industrials, with SM Prime Holdings up 1.2 percent

and JG Summit Holdings 0.6 percent higher.

Singapore shares edged up 0.1 percent, largely

boosted by industrials, with Keppel Corp Ltd gaining 2

percent to hit its highest in over two years.

Indonesian shares rose 0.3 percent, boosted by

consumer staples and telecommunication services sectors.

Cigarette maker Gudang Garam Tbk gained 2.8

percent to an over three-month high, while Perusahaan Perseroan

(Persero) PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk rose 1

percent.

The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks

inched 0.3 percent higher.

The Malaysian index gained 0.1 percent, with oil and

gas retailer Petronas Dagangan Berhad up 7.3 percent.

Oil prices edged up on Monday amid ongoing tensions in the

Middle East.

Meanwhile, Thai shares dipped marginally, owing to

losses in the financials and utilities sector.

For Asian Companies click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0448 GMT

Change on the

day

Market Current Previous Pct Move

close

Singapore 3423.23 3420.1 0.09

Bangkok 1687.03 1689.28 -0.13

Manila 8467.41 8433.48 0.40

Jakarta 6038.786 6021.828 0.28

Kuala Lumpur 1744.84 1742.28 0.15

Ho Chi Minh 873 868.21 0.55

Change on year

Market Current End 2016 Pct Move

Singapore 3423.23 2880.76 18.83

Bangkok 1687.03 1542.94 9.34

Manila 8467.41 6840.64 23.78

Jakarta 6038.786 5296.711 14.01

Kuala Lumpur 1744.84 1641.73 6.28

Ho Chi Minh 873 664.87 31.30

(Reporting by Karthika Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by

Amrutha Gayathri)