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SE Asia Stocks-Markets rally as Middle East conflict worries ease

By Sameer Manekar

* Thai stocks lead gains, up as much as 1.1% * Vietnam recovers from over 6-month low * China Dec CPI unchanged from Nov By Sameer Manekar Jan 9 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian markets rose on Thursday, recovering from sharp declines in the previous session, after remarks from the United States and Iran soothed concerns of a larger Middle East conflict. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States did not have to respond militarily to Iran's attack, while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the strikes "concluded" Tehran's retaliation. "As sentiment improves, market participants unwound safe-haven bets with broad relief sell-off in the bond universe," Mizuho Bank analyst Zhu Huani said. Aiding sentiment, data showed China's efforts to prop up its economy was yielding results as producer prices fell at a slower pace, showing signs of a modest recovery in industry activity and consumer price index in December remained unchanged from a month ago at 4.5%. Thai stocks led gains in the region and was up as much as 1.1%. Gulf Energy Development and Charoen Pokphand Foods added 2.7% and 3.6%, respectively. Indonesian equities gained, with Bank Central Asia rising 0.9% and Bank Mandiri (Persero) 1.7%. Singapore's benchmark index gained as much as 0.5%, with Southeast Asia's largest lender DBS Group Holdings rising 0.4%, and industrial conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings gaining 0.9%. Malaysian equities were lifted by financials. Heavyweights Malayan Banking and CIMB Group Holdings climbed 0.8% and 1%. Philippine bourse inched up 0.3%. BDO Unibank rose 0.5% and Ayala Land was up 1.8%. Vietnam stocks recovered from a more than six-month low hit in the previous session to climb up to 0.9% as most blue-chip names rallied. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0427 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3247.96 3245.89 0.06 Bangkok 1572.14 1559.27 0.83 Manila 7762.75 7736.24 0.34 Jakarta 6245.823 6225.686 0.32 Kuala Lumpur 1592.04 1589.1 0.19 Ho Chi Minh 956.43 948.98 0.79 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3247.96 3222.83 0.78 Bangkok 1572.14 1579.84 -0.49 Manila 7762.75 7,815.26 -0.67 Jakarta 6245.823 6,299.54 -0.85 Kuala Lumpur 1592.04 1588.76 0.21 Ho Chi Minh 956.43 960.99 -0.47 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)