PRICES closed at a record high in Manila for the fourth day this week as foreign interest in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) spilled into other issues, brokers said. PLDT ended at a record close of 1,750 pesos against Wednesday's 1,720 in the domestic market, despite slipping 75 US cents cents to $591/8 overnight in New York. ''The market was bullish due to heavy foreign buying in PLDT and other blue chip issues,'' said Noel Reyes, vice-president at DMT Securities. ''Most stocks were flirting with new all-time highs,'' said Louie Bate of Baring Securities. The Manila index closed up 24.72 points at 2,136.75 against the previous 2,112.03, while Makati jumped to 2,197.08 points from 2,167.82. ''We should see a strong performance tomorrow if PLDT ends higher in New York tonight,'' said Peter Chua, technical analyst at Citisecurities. Combined turnover climbed to 1.98 billion shares worth 639.47 million pesos against the previous 1.49 billion valued at 956.4 million. SINGAPORE A SURGE in institutional buying before Singapore Telecom's flotation pushed the key Straits Times Industrial index to a record closing high of 2,077.95, dealers said. But the index, up 24.07 points from Wednesday's close, was off an all-time high of 2,082.71 reached in afternoon trading. Brokers said they expected more buying by fund managers tracking the Singapore index, although light profit-taking could slow immediate further gains. ''The market's capitalisation will increase by another S$30 billion to $40 billion. If you can't get Telecom, you buy something else. We will continue to see rotational interest in blue chips,'' said T.K. Yap, head of sales at Peregrine Securities Singapore. KUALA LUMPUR THE Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange composite index ended at a closing high of 919.03 points, up 7.65 from Wednesday's close, helped by a surge in giant Telekom Malaysia on the back of foreign institutional buying, brokers said. It was the index's record close for the seventh consecutive day. Earlier in the day, the index had set an all-time high of 922.93 points. The broader market was mixed as profit-taking became more pronounced in the afternoon. ''Players are becoming increasingly cautious after the strong run-up,'' said a broker. Telekom surged 80 cents to 19.40 ringgit. Brokers said that any consolidation would be temporary as the market still had strong upside potential due to excess liquidity. BANGKOK THE Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index dropped 3.31 points on profit-taking, closing at 1,137.59, after brieflypeaking earlier at an all-time high, a broker said. Seconds after trading began the index surged past its record of 1,143.78 points, set on July 25, 1990, to hit 1,157.1 points before profit-takers moved in. Trading was heavy with 315.7 million shares worth 18.1 billion baht changing hands. The banking sector remained strong but speculative issues were also very active, the broker said. WELLINGTON STRONG demand in the leading stocks, mainly from foreign investors, pushed the New Zealand share market to its highest close for 33/4 years. Gainers outpaced losers by two to one on brisk volume of NZ$60 million. But it was six or seven cent gains in the three largest stocks - Telecom, Fletcher Challenge and Carter Holt Harvey - which was mainly responsible for the NZSE-40 capital index's 19.1-point rise to 2,060.22. ''It was always going to be an up-day with the US market stronger,'' ANZ McCaughan broker James Snell said. The market took further heart from released economic data. The consumer price index showed annual inflation at its highest for two years, at 1.5 per cent, but was still seen as acceptable. The number of registered unemployed dipped 1.9 per cent in September, which is seen as helping the ruling National Party's election chances. ''I think we will see more of the same in this market running up to the election,'' said Mr Snell. ''Investors want to be fully weighted going into the election.'' The election is due on November 6. TAIPEI STOCKS ended well off early highs in heavy trade on profit-taking from gains sparked by hopes that Parliament would soon cut the stock transaction tax. The Weighted Index ended 18.59 points up at 4,013.1, off an intra-day high of 4,072. Turnover was the heaviest since May at NT$38.17 billion. The prospects for a tax cut remained unclear. Parliament's finance committee on Wednesday passed a motion demanding the 0.3 per cent tax be cut to a maximum of 0.15 per cent, but the ruling Nationalist Party caucus in parliament has so far declined to support the motion. But hopes for a cut sent the market soaring in early trade on strong speculative buying, particularly in financials and speculative counters. SEOUL STOCKS ended slightly lower after an institutional selling spree and individual profit-taking wiped outan early advance of nearly 12 points, brokers said. ''The market is making a technical adjustment following the gains of the previous three days,'' said Kim Duck-sun of Hyundai Securities. ''But underlying sentiment still looks healthy.' ''I expect the market to rebound tomorrow with buying centred on KEPCO and financial shares,'' said Choi Bum of Seoul Securities. ''The index is likely to hover around 735 to 750 for the time being.'' The index closed 2.62 points lower at 737.77. ''I believe the market may hit a year high around the 800 level in November,'' said Mr Choi. TOKYO STOCKS ended mixed in sleepy trade, with the Nikkei average finishing above 20,000 on buying of blue chip shares by institutions, brokers said. Selling of shares excluded from a new Nikkei 300 weighted index weakened after two days of prompting sharp falls in prices. ''There won't be a big move in the market as brokers are reluctant to take new positions before the weekend. But we can expect some rebound and the Nikkei average may move around the line of 20,000,'' said a broker at a Big Four brokerage. The 225-share Nikkei average ended up 44.41 points, 0.22 per cent, at 20,082.81, with about 250 million shares traded. However, the broader first section TOPIX index closed down 0.32 points at 1,645.21. The new Nikkei 300 weighted average, calculated after the market closes every day, lost 1.51 points to 297.86 on Wednesday. The market opened lower, with the Nikkei dropping below 20,000 soon afterwards. But it gradually rebounded with the support of buying on dips and by institutions, brokers said. After the Nikkei hit its day's low at 19,911.89 in mid-morning, the market was firm with the key index standing above 20,000 throughout the afternoon. JAKARTA PRICES closed firmer on speculation that the Government might increase allowed foreign ownership in listed firms soon, dealers said. ''Investors scrambled to buy shares with premiums following rumours that limitation of foreign ownership will be eased late this month,'' one dealer said. The limit is currently set at 49 per cent. The official index closed 4.97 points higher at 453.95. The Chinese share prices are provided by Telerate. All other prices are provided by Reuter.