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S'pore rises after dodging recession, others down

JAKARTA: Singapore shares were the sole gainers in Southeast Asia on Friday, hitting their highest in more than two weeks, as investors heaved a sigh of relief after quarterly economic growth data showed the city-state had narrowly dodged a recession. 
Singapore's GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter on an annualised and seasonally adjusted basis, but was lower than a median forecast of 1.1 percent in a Reuters poll.
The economic growth clocked an average pace of 2.5 percent in the first half of 2017, putting the city-state on track for an annual growth in the range of 2 percent to 3 percent, which is within official parameters, OCBC Bank said in a note.
Singapore shares rose as much as 0.6 percent, posting gains across sectors. Singapore Telecommunications was the biggest boost on the index, rising as much as 1 percent, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp climbed 0.5 percent. 
Other stock markets in the region fell, with the Philippines  dropping as much as 0.6 percent. Real estate stocks Ayala Land and SM Prime Holdings fell 1.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. 
Indonesian shares slipped 0.3 percent, dragged by financials and consumer stocks. Unilever Indonesia fell as much as 1.7 percent, while Bank Rakyat Indonesia  dropped nearly 1.9 percent.
Thai shares fell as much as 0.2 percent, after two sessions of gains, with real estate developer Central Pattana  posting a 2.2 percent drop to hit its lowest in more than two weeks. 
Oil and gas refiner PTT Pcl was the biggest drag on the index, falling 0.5 percent.
Vietnam was marginally lower, pulled under by Vinamilk and property developer Vingroup JSC.