Climb in line with global equities, S'pore leads gains

JAKARTA: Southeast Asian stock markets gained on Thursday, tracking a rally in global equities, with Singapore leading the gains and Thailand hitting a 24-year peak yet again. 
Asian stocks rose to a decade-high as Wall Street hit record closes overnight after a report that a market-friendly candidate was being pushed as Janet Yellen's successor at the helm of the Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile, the dollar weakened after the U.S. central bank's last policy meeting minutes released on Wednesday showed a guarded view on inflation.  
"The positive performance that Wall Street witnessed helped boost sentiment in our markets," said Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital.
Singapore shares climbed as much as 0.8 percent to a more than eight-week high.
Financial stocks accounted for nearly half the gains on the index, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd gaining more than 1 percent each.
Philippine shares climbed as much as 0.3 percent, driven largely by industrial stocks.
"Philippine markets are advancing because there is some selective buying into heavyweights such as Ayala Corp and SM Investments," said Jeffrey Lucero, equity research analyst at RCBC Securities.
SM Investments Corp and Ayala Corp each gained as much as 1.7 percent.
Thai shares rose as much as 0.3 percent and were set for a third straight winning session, led by financials and energy stocks.