January 24, 2018, 3:54 am
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Asia stocks post gains

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, after the US Federal Reserve’s comments tempered prospects for future tightening, while Singapore fell sharply after four sessions of gains.

Public Bank Bhd climbed 3.5 percent to a record, while Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Bhd gained 2.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Philippine shares .PSI rose as much as 0.4 percent to their highest in over four weeks, after the Congress approved late on Wednesday a tax reform bill President Rodrigo Duterte needs to push ahead with his economic agenda.

Index heavyweights SM Investments Corp and SM Prime Holdings rose 1.6 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Indonesian shares firmed 0.6 percent to a three-week high, on course for a third straight session of gains, while the index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.8 percent to a record.

Conglomerate Astra International Tbk PT rose 2.2 percent while cement manufacturer Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk PT gained 5.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Singapore shares succumbed to profit-taking after four straight winning sessions. The index fell 0.9 percent, marking its biggest intraday percentage drop in over a week.

Banking stocks contributed more than half the declines on the index, with top lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, DBS Group and United Overseas Bank Ltd posting losses in a range of 1.2 percent to 1.9 percent.

Thai stocks gained as much as 0.5 percent, hitting a two-week high. – Reuters 
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