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SE Asia Stocks-Malaysia drops over 1%, Singapore flat

By Shruti Sonal

* Vietnam stocks set to gain 7.8% in 2019 * Malaysian shares fall; Singapore flat * Other markets closed for New Year's Eve By Shruti Sonal Dec 31 (Reuters) - Malaysian shares fell more than 1% on Tuesday, dragged by banking and consumer stocks, while Singapore erased gains in thin year-end trading. Broader Asia was down 0.4%, as investors booked profits on the last trading day of the decade. Most Southeast Asian benchmarks were poised to end the year higher. Singapore's market shut early on Tuesday, while most other markets in the region are closed on account of New Year's Eve. Malaysian benchmark marked its worst session in more than a month, with all sectors trading in the red. The index recorded losses of 5.4% for the year. Public Bank Bhd fell 1.7%, while Sime Darby Plantation, the world's largest oil palm planter by land size, slid 2%. "While market volumes are predictably light, investors continue to strike a year-end cautionary tone as December optimism is gradually giving way to 2020's uncertainty," Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note. On the trade front, White House's trade adviser said on Monday the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal would likely be signed in the next week, but said a confirmation would come from President Donald Trump or the U.S. Trade Representative. Any signs of easing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing are a major boon for Southeast Asian economies, which count China as their top trading partner. Meanwhile, data on Tuesday showed factory activity in China, expanded for a second straight month in December, as production quickened and export orders rose. Singapore's benchmark index was flat, but gained 4.9% for the year. Industrial stocks offset gains in financials, with Jardine Strategic Holdings slipping 1.6%. The Vietnam index fell 0.3%, but was on track to post a 7.8% gain for 2019, outperforming its peers by a vast margin. Financial and consumer stocks accounted for most of the losses on the benchmark, with Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp falling 0.9%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0352 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3221.09 3222.44 -0.04 Kuala Lumpur 1597.97 1615.67 -1.10 Ho Chi Minh 962.07 965.03 -0.31 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3221.09 3068.76 4.96 Bangkok 1579.84 1563.88 1.02 Manila 7815.26 7,466.02 4.68 Jakarta 6299.539 6,194.50 1.70 Kuala Lumpur 1597.97 1690.58 -5.48 Ho Chi Minh 962.07 892.54 7.79 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)