Telecom stocks were in demand after a rise in Vodafone AirTouch overnight boosted its takeover bid for Mannesmann - 10.2 per cent owned by Hutchison Whampoa.
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STOCKS ENDED higher, helped by offshore buying and optimism that the economy has turned the corner. The Hang Seng ended up 275.76 points - 1.84 per cent - at 15,274.53. Traders said the market was resisting efforts to take profits, with funds flowing in any time it neared 15,000.