Indonesian stocks climbed to their all-time closing high on Thursday, tracking other Southeast Asian stock markets, as improving economic data encouraged investors back into the market that underperformed the region last year. Jakarta's Composite Index ended up 1.2 percent at 4,399.26, topping the previous record of 4,375.17 set on November 26. Indonesia saw a drop in its monthly trade deficit in November. Consumer stocks led gainers, with PT Astra International Tbk, the most actively traded share, up more than 4 percent. Broker Bahana Securities said rising commodity prices also supported sentiment. It advised investors to sell into strength of commodity holdings and remain with domestic plays as a shield against external volatilities on a 12-month view.

"This is very much reminiscent to what occurred back in the first quarter of 2012 before commodity prices tanked starting in the second quarter," said Head of Research, Harry Su at Bahana Securities in Jakarta. "We expect the same trend to occur in the first quarter of 2013 with commodities losing ground later as problems in Europe flare up again," he said. Underpinning the region's sentiment was also hopes of a steady economic revival in China. Philippine Composite Index climbed 1.3 percent to 5,934.05, marking a record close for a second straight session. After late selling, Thai SET index wiped out most of its early gains to end 0.07 percent higher.

http://www.brecorder.com

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