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Southeast Asia stocks buoyant, SET closes at 20-month high

Asia stocks

Southeast Asian stocks ended higher on Wednesday as positive sentiment spilled over from Wall Street and European markets overnight on upbeat factory data from the United States and the euro zone.

US factory activity accelerated to a two-year high in December, while construction spending hit a 10-1/2-year high in November. In the euro zone, manufacturing activity hit the fastest pace in more than five years in December.

Philippine shares rose 2.5% to close at their highest in nearly a month on the back of foreign buying.

Foreign investors net bought 184 million pesos worth of stocks on Wednesday.

Telecom and financial stocks led the gains with PLDT Inc. firming up nearly 7% and Security Bank Corp closing 6% higher.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand closed at its highest since April 2015, up 1.34%, extending gains for a seventh consecutive session.

Singapore stocks rose 0.77% with casino operator Genting Singapore and energy heavyweight Sembcorp Industries climbing 4% and 2.5%, respectively.

Indonesian shares recovered early losses to end higher at 0.5% with consumer non-cyclicals leading the gains.

Clove cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk PT and Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT gained over 3% each.

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Paul

The author Paul