Mostly up; Thai shares end 6-day slump

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JAKARTA (Dec 17): Southeast Asian stock markets mostly rose on Wednesday, with Thai shares ending six consecutive sessions of losses to lead the regional gains.

The Thai stock index rose 1.3 percent, its biggest one-day gain since August, regaining some lost ground after having slumped 8.5 percent over the past six sessions.

Energy sector shares led the gains, rebounding from earlier losses due to declining crude oil prices.

Teerada Charnyingyong, an analyst with Phillip Capital in Bangkok, said the index was on a technical rebound as investors bought stocks at cheaper prices.

Thai energy giant PTT PLC's shares rose 4 percent after falling to their lowest in six months on Tuesday.

Stocks in Jakarta rose 0.2 percent, following some recovery in the rupiah. The Indonesian currency gained as much as 0.4 percent against the dollar during the day. On Tuesday,
the rupiah touched its lowest in 16 years.

Meanwhile, falling oil prices and concerns over the Russian crisis continued to hurt Philippine and Vietnamese stocks.

"The sharp drop in oil is creating financial stress in Russia. There are fears of corporate or sovereign defaults," said Miguel Agarao, an investment analyst at Wealth Securities
Inc in Manila.

"The Philippines is not very liquid and there was a delayed reaction," Agarao said.

The Philippines stock index fell 2.7 percent while the Vietnam index lost 3.2 percent.