Southeast Asian stocks rose on Thursday, with Singapore leading gains, as investors cheered US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments bolstering prospects of an interest rate cut.
Singapore's index led the gains in the region, buoyed by rise in financials. Shares of lenders DBS Group Holdings Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd rose as much as 1.9 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.
The Thai benchmark hit a more than nine-month high, as appointment of a cabinet under Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha soothed investor sentiment.
The Philippine index was buoyed by gains in real estate stocks. SM Prime Holdings Inc and Ayala Land Inc were up as much as 1.2 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.
The Malaysian index was flat, as gains in telecom stocks offset losses in consumer sector counters, according to Reuters.
Palm oil producers such as Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and IOI Corporation Bhd dragged the index, affected by a fall in palm oil prices in the first half of the year due to slow demand.
The Indonesian benchmark advanced slightly, helped by gains in financials.
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