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SE Asia stocks upbeat, Philippines scales fresh peak

The Philippine index, which has had a record-setting streak this week, rose as much as 0.5 per cent to an all-time high. — Reuters pic The Philippine index, which has had a record-setting streak this week, rose as much as 0.5 per cent to an all-time high. — Reuters pic SINGAPORE, Oct 13 — South-east Asian stock markets rose toiday, drawing confidence from upbeat global investor sentiment, with the Philippines hitting a fresh high and Singapore underpinned by data showing faster-than-expected quarterly economic growth.

China's trade data showed growth in exports and imports accelerated in September, with imports beating expectations, underscoring resilience in the country's economy.

China's foreign trade will likely grow at a double-digit rate this year if current conditions continue, the customs bureau said.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 per cent, having gained 3.6 per cent so far this month.

“The Chinese trade data has had a positive impact on markets, key countries in Asia are now major trading partners with China,” said Joel Ng, an analyst with Singapore-based KGI Securities.

The Philippine index, which has had a record-setting streak this week, rose as much as 0.5 per cent to an all-time high.

SM Prime Holdings Inc and SM Investments Corp hit record highs in the session, rising as much 2.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively.

Singapore shares rose as much as 0.5 per cent, set to extend gains to a second straight session.

The city-state's central bank kept its monetary policy unchanged today even as data showed that Singapore's trade-dependent economy grew more than expected in the third quarter.

“The markets are looking positive because of a combination of the better-than-expected GDP numbers and the central bank keeping its policy unchanged,” Joel Ng added.

Keppel Corp Ltd was the biggest boost on the index, rising as much as 3.7 per cent to its highest in over seven months.

The Jakarta stock index rose 0.2 per cent, buoyed by financial and consumer stocks.

Fabric manufacturer Indo Kordsa Tbk PT jumped 25 per cent, while Insurance provider Asuransi Jasa Tania Tbk PT surged nearly 16 per cent.

Malaysian stocks were little changed, while Thailand was closed today for a local holiday. — Reuters

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