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Asean stocks gain as China trade data lifts mood, Singapore rallies

Singapore shares rise nearly 1 per cent, marking their biggest gain in close to three weeks.. — Reuters picSingapore shares rise nearly 1 per cent, marking their biggest gain in close to three weeks.. — Reuters picSINGAPORE, Dec 8 — South-east Asian stock markets gained today as stronger-than-expected China trade data and the US government avoiding a shutdown buoyed risk sentiment, with Singapore rebounding sharply after this week's losing streak.

China's exports and imports unexpectedly accelerated last month after slowing in October, an encouraging sign for the world's second-biggest economy which has started to slow in the face of a government crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent after the US Congress worked late into last night to push through a short-term funding bill, that averts a government shutdown, at least for the moment.

Singapore shares rose nearly 1 per cent, marking their biggest gain in close to three weeks.

Top lenders, DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank posted gains in the range of 1.1 per cent to 1.9 per cent.

Indonesian shares recouped the previous session's losses, rising 0.5 per cent, with financials such as Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT leading the gains.

Ratings agency Fitch said yesterday growth in Indonesia was expected to pick up sharply in 2018 with help of a brighter investment climate and stabilisation of commodity prices.

Philippine shares rose 0.8 per cent to their highest in a week, with real estate heavyweights SM Prime Holdings Inc and Ayala Land rising 1.8 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

Malaysian stocks rose 0.3 per cent with Sime Darby Bhd and its recently spun off unit Sime Darby Plantation Bhd driving the gains.

Thai shares inched up 0.2 per cent, as utility stocks gained, with Global Power Synergy PCL rising 5.9 per cent. — Reuters

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