SE Asia Stocks-Most up ahead of holidays; Thai index recovers
BANGKOK, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, with key indexes in Singapore and the Philippines hovering around multi-week highs ahead of market holidays, while the Thai benchmark snapped losing streaks amid short-covering in telecoms stocks. The key SET index advanced 1 percent, regaining some losses over the past three trading days, with beaten-down shares such as Total Access Communication leading the market rebound. Positive sentiment in the region would support a recovery in the Thai market on the day, brokers said. "We also expect less pressure from foreign equity outflows as the long holidays are approaching on the foreign side while the selling spree on telecom stocks should have peaked," said broker KGI Securities in a report. Singapore's key Straits Times Index extended gains for a second day, up 0.5 percent to its highest since Dec. 9. Shares of DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation were top two gainers. Data early on the day showed the city-state's core inflation unexpectedly slowed in November due to lower food and services inflation. In Kuala Lumpur, the key stock index was up 0.9 percent, with oil and gas service firm Sapurakencana Petroleum climbing along with positive global oil prices. Malaysia's annual inflation rate in November was 2.6 percent, higher than forecast, reflecting rises in prices for consumer goods. The key stock index in the Philippines was up 0.3 percent, hitting the highest since Dec. 3. Indonesia drifted into negative territory after early modest gains and Vietnam eased 0.6 percent to a more than one-week low. Stock markets in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia will be closed on Thursday and Friday for public holidays. Singapore will trade half-day on Thursday, and will shut on Friday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0658 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2865.92 2852.97 +0.45 Kuala Lumpur 1657.69 1643.26 +0.88 Bangkok 1273.74 1261.66 +0.96 Jakarta 4504.57 4517.57 -0.29 Manila 6989.25 6966.18 +0.33 Ho Chi Minh 563.08 566.35 -0.58 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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