Southeast Asian stocks mostly higher

Published: December 31, 2018 11:43:16 | Updated: January 26, 2019 15:05:49

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Southeast Asian stocks rise in narrow trading on Monday as a phone call between US and Chinese leaders spurred hopes that the two economic heavyweights would reach a deal that could ease their damaging trade standoff.

Singapore and Malaysia gained modestly, in line with their Asian peers, as investors appeared to take heart from a possible Sino-US deal at the end of a tumultuous year, reports Reuters.

Singapore's index rose 0.3 per cent on Monday, with top gainer Thai Beverage PCL advancing 3.4 per cent. Lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd firmed 1.1 per cent.

Malaysia's benchmark was boosted by industrial conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad, which rose 3.4 per cent, and tourist resort operator Genting Malaysia Berhad, which added 1.3 per cent.

Singapore's index has shed over 10 per cent this year, while Malaysian stocks were among the region's better performers with a 5.0 per cent decline.

Singapore's market will trade for shorter hours on account of New Year's Eve, while Malaysian markets have regular trading hours.

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