SE Asia Stocks-Singapore hits record high; Thailand dips

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SINGAPORE, Sept 27 (Reuters) Most Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Thursday, with Singapore hitting a record high as concerns about the U.S. subprime mortgage market eased.

The city-state's Straits Times Index <.STI> hit a peak of 3,723.32 points, breaching the previous peak of 3,688.58 set on July 16, and closed up 1.77 percent at 3,714.77 points.

Index heavyweights Singapore Telecommunications and DBS Group were among the top gainers with rises of 4.7 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Malaysian stocks <.KLSE> rose 1.12 percent, Indonesian shares <.JKSE> gained 0.75 percent and the Philippines' key index <.PSI> added 2.93 percent.

The Vietnam stock market <.VNI> fell 0.18 percent, while Thai stocks <.SETI> were down 0.16 percent by 0928 GMT.

''Of late, noises coming out of the U.S. and Europe suggest the subprime problem has stabilised,'' a trader with a Singapore bank brokerage said, citing reports that Bear Sterns and Northern Rock will soon get new investors.

''(The) Dow Jones is doing well and Asian stocks tend to follow,'' she added.

Technical indicators suggested the STI and Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> will continue to rally in coming sessions, which will be positive for Southeast Asian stocks in general, UOB's Kay Hian said in a note to clients.

The Dow rose 0.72 percent overnight after the dollar stabilised against other major currencies and a strike at General Motors was resolved.

Gains in the Philippines were led by Banco de Oro , which ended 7.3 percent higher, and property developer SM Prime , which rose 6.7 percent. SM Prime plans to buy three shopping malls in China, the Manila Bulletin reported on Thursday.

Steel maker Ann Joo led gainers in Malaysia, rising 14 percent, while Indonesian cement maker Semen Gresik rose 1.9 percent after reporting a 9.4 percent rise in first half profit due to a construction boom in the Southeast Asian countries.

Phatra Securities fell 5 percent on fears its partnership with Merrill Lynch could unwind if U.S. investment bank's decided to buy rival Apex Securities.


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