U.S. Markets closed

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Malaysia rise after Trump-Xi trade phone call

Dec 31 (Reuters) - Singaporean and Malaysian stocks rose on

Monday in thin year-end trading as a phone call between U.S. and

Chinese leaders spurred hopes that the two economic heavyweights

would reach a deal that could ease their damaging trade

standoff.

While other markets in the region were shut, Singapore and

Malaysia gained modestly, in line with their Asian peers, as

investors appeared to take heart from a possible Sino-U.S. deal

at the end of a tumultuous year.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he had a

"long and very good call" with Chinese President Xi Jinping and

that a possible trade deal between the two sides was progressing

well.

In late November, the two countries had agreed to halt

additional tariffs, hold fresh talks and reach an agreement

within 90 days.

China is Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner and its

trade war with the United States, which has cost both sides

billions of dollars in losses, also hit Southeast Asian stock

indexes, all of which ended 2018 in the red.

Singapore's index rose 0.3 percent on Monday, with

top gainer Thai Beverage PCL advancing 3.4 percent.

Lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd firmed 1.1 percent.

Malaysia's benchmark was boosted by industrial

conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad, which rose 3.4

percent, and tourist resort operator Genting Malaysia Berhad

, which added 1.3 percent.

Singapore's index has shed over 10 percent this year, while

Malaysian stocks were among the region's better performers with

a 5 percent decline.

Singapore's market will trade for shorter hours on account

of New Year's Eve, while Malaysian markets have regular trading

hours.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0227 GMT

Market Current Previous close Pct Move

Singapore 3063.88 3053.43 0.34

Kuala Lumpur 1694.88 1692.07 0.17

Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move

Singapore 3063.88 3402.92 -9.96

Bangkok 1563.88 1753.71 -10.82

Manila 7466.02 8558.42 -12.76

Jakarta 6194.498 6355.654 -2.54

Kuala Lumpur 1694.88 1796.81 -5.67

Ho Chi Minh 892.54 984.24 -9.32

(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin

Ravikumar)