SINGAPORE - The local market rose for the second day as investors took a cue from the rally at Wall Street, with 23 of the blue chip counters ended the day higher amid the buoyant mood.
The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 1.42 per cent or 46.75 points to close at 3,345.11. This followed a 1.23 per cent increase by the Dow Jones Industrial Average overnight, on the news of better business hiring in December and a slight recovery in oil prices.
Banking stocks were again top picks, with OCBC Bank climbing a hefty 3.14 per cent or 32 cents to $10.50. United Overseas Bank climbed 2.47 per cent or 58 cents to $24.02, while DBS Group Holdings jumped 1.41 per cent or 28 cents to $20.08.
The local banks are set to enjoy a windfall as local interest rates are firmly on the uptake, with 12-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate jumping from 0.55 per cent to 0.67 per cent in just the first two days this week.
Elsewhere, most Asian markets ended on a stronger note on the back of better news abroad, with Tokyo rising the most - at 1.67 per cent.
Kuala Lumpur shares gained 1.1 per cent while Hong Kong shares rose 0.65 per cent. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index, which hit its highest level in five years on Wednesday, dropped by 2.39 per cent as investors took profits.