Bulls And Bears

S'pore shares extend gains on Wall St rally

STI's performance yesterday largely boosted by the Big Three banks

Singapore shares extended gains from last week, thanks to a stellar showing in the United States on Friday.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 15.32 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 2,874.65. Turnover across the bourse was 1.44 billion shares worth $1.11 billion.

Wall Street pushed to new highs last Friday in a shortened session, following the Thanksgiving Day holiday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.36 per cent.

Stocks in the US have been riding a post-election rally that has added about US$1 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) to equity values, according to Bloomberg. This was driven by speculation that President-elect Donald Trump's plans to cut taxes and boost fiscal spending will help lift corporate profits.

"It has been more than two weeks since the US election and we are still on the topic of Trumponomics. This is highly likely to remain the case into the New Year or until we get further clarity," said IG market strategist Pan Jingyi.

All eyes will also be on a highly probable US rate hike on Dec 15.

Markets elsewhere in Asia were mixed. Tokyo eased 0.13 per cent as traders locked in profits, while Shanghai grew 0.46 per cent and Hong Kong was up 0.47 per cent. Kuala Lumpur was little changed, inching up 0.09 per cent.

The STI's performance yesterday was largely propped up by the Big Three banks. A Moody's report noted that the Government measures announced last week for local oil service companies will be credit positive for the lenders, as they will "help contain the significant deterioration in the credit quality of the loans".

DBS Group Holdings gained 30 cents or 1.8 per cent to $17.35, while United Overseas Bank put on 16 cents or 0.8 per cent to $20.04.

OCBC Bank rose 14 cents or 1.6 per cent to $9.03, helped also by its announcement that Bank of Singapore, its private banking unit, has completed the acquisition of Barclays' wealth and investment management businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong at US$227.5 million - a lower price than stated earlier.

Singtel also fared well, climbing one cent or 0.3 per cent to $3.76, while Keppel Corporation was up four cents or 0.7 per cent to $5.44, after announcing that a unit has secured a US$13.7 million contract to provide technology and services to the Nanshan II waste-to-energy plant in Shenzhen, China.

Global Logistic Properties was among the biggest losers, sliding three cents or 1.5 per cent to $2.03.

Outside of the blue chips, ASL Marine asked for a trading halt on its shares, pending its annual general meeting and its first-quarter results release yesterday. The shipbuilder last traded 0.6 cents or 4.7 per cent higher at 13.4 cents.

Commodity trader Noble Group was the day's top active with 152.7 million shares changing hands. The stock fell 0.6 cents or 3.4 per cent to 17.3 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore shares extend gains on Wall St rally'. Print Edition | Subscribe