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SE Asia Stocks-Climb on coronavirus treatment progress, higher oil prices

By Nikhil Subba

* Singapore at near two-week peak, set for best day since April 14 * DBS Group at 7-week peak after bank retains quarterly dividend * Indonesia hits highest level since April 15 By Nikhil Subba April 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Thursday as progress in the development of a COVID-19 treatment and higher oil prices spurred a rally. Singapore shares jumped as much as 2.3% to a near two-week peak and led gains in the region, underpinned by a jump in shares of DBS Group Holdings. Southeast Asia's biggest lender advanced 4.7% to a seven-week peak after retaining its quarterly dividend, despite a 29% drop in Q1 profit, even as banks across the world defer or cut dividends to save cash. Falling infection rates and phased reopening of economies around the globe have boosted appetite for equities this week, with early results from a U.S government clinical trial showing that Gilead Sciences Inc's experimental drug remdesivir helped certain COVID-19 patients recover more quickly. "The vaccine is incredibly positive news for the oil market as it suggests a quicker recovery in global demand as oil downstream sectors would be expected to fire up," Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note. Oil prices rose on Thursday on signs the U.S. crude glut is not growing as fast as expected and that gasoline demand battered by COVID-19 restrictions is starting to pick up. Stocks in Indonesia, the region's largest economy, gained about 2.5% to hit their highest level since April 15. West Java, Indonesia's most populous province, hopes to ease coronavirus social distancing restrictions in some areas and allow some factories to reopen as infections decline. Information Technology company Metrodata Electronics rose nearly 7%, while Bank Central Asia climbed about 5.6%. In Thailand, the energy sector drove the main stock index 1.4% higher to a near eight-week peak. Malaysian shares gained more than 1%, helped by Genting Malaysia's 3.4% rise and Petronas Chemicals Group's near 5% climb. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0340 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2628.82 2574.73 2.10 Bangkok 1296.71 1282.68 1.09 Manila 5657.61 5643.97 0.24 Jakarta 4660.821 4567.323 2.05 Kuala Lumpur 1397.03 1380.3 1.21 Ho Chi Minh 769.11 767.21 0.25 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2628.82 3222.83 -18.43 Bangkok 1296.71 1579.84 -17.92 Manila 5657.61 7,815.26 -27.61 Jakarta 4660.821 6,299.54 -26.01 Kuala Lumpur 1397.03 1588.76 -12.07 Ho Chi Minh 769.11 960.99 -19.97 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)