ECB brings cheer to regional markets with Singapore shares ending higher

SINGAPORE - Stocks here celebrated the massive monetary stimulus measures by the European Central Bank (ECB) by jumping past the 3,400-mark, a level not attained since May 2013.

The Straits Times Index (STI) added 41.2 points or 1.2 per cent to 3,411.5 on Friday, rounding up a perfect week of five straight days of gains.

For the week, the STI rose 110.8 points or 3.4 per cent.

Thursday night's announcement that the ECB would embark on a bigger-than-expected bond-buying programme known as quantitative easing (QE) helped to fuel the rally.

Instead of an expected 500 billion to 600 billion euro programme, the ECB will buy private and public bonds worth some 1.1 trillion euros in all.

Hong Kong gained 1.3 per cent, Tokyo rose 1.1 per cent, Seoul added 0.8 per cent while Shanghai was up 0.3 per cent.