Singapore stocks put up a strong showing at the start of a new month yesterday, likely helped by positive sentiment in the United States last week.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 42.19 points, or 1.31 per cent, to 3,262.1, although the total volume traded across the bourse came in at 1.28 billion shares worth just $892.8 million.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul were closed for holidays - a possible explanation behind the light trading here. Tokyo and Jakarta added 0.22 per cent each, and Sydney advanced 0.84 per cent.
Equities on Wall Street capped eight consecutive quarters of gains last Friday as they moved into the longest winning streak since the start of 2015. Key US stock indices, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, clocked year-to-date gains of at least 9 per cent as at the end of last month.
Traders have been focused on US President Donald Trump's tax reform plan, along with the possibility of a new and more hawkish Federal Reserve chief. Data that showed China's manufacturing activity grew last month at the fastest pace since 2012 also lifted confidence.
The STI was mostly boosted by all three local banks yesterday. United Overseas Bank was up strongly by 2.1 per cent or 50 cents to $24, while DBS Group Holdings gained 2 per cent or 42 cents to $21.24 and OCBC Bank added 0.9 per cent or 10 cents to $11.26.
Global Logistic Properties put on 0.3 per cent or one cent to $3.31 after the group said it will buy European logistics platform Gazeley for about €2.4 billion (S$3.8 billion). Singtel added 0.5 per cent or two cents to $3.70 in heavy trade.
DBS Equity Research noted in a report that Singtel is trading at a 20 to 40 per cent valuation discount compared with its peers. "However, with digital advertising arm Amobee achieving an earlier-than-expected Ebitda (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) breakeven in the first quarter of 2018, and official guidance for narrower digital losses in 2018, we expect the valuation discount to disappear," it said.
Outside of the index, Rotary Engineering surged 9.8 per cent or four cents to 45 cents, after announcing that a partnership between its controlling family and an investment arm of the Oman government has proposed to take the firm private via a cash offer of 46 cents apiece.
Alliance Mineral Assets called for a trading halt pending an announcement linked to an offtake agreement. The stock last traded on Sept 29 at 30 cents.
Shipping trust FSL Trust dropped 5.6 per cent or half a cent to 8.4 cents. The trustee-manager said on Sunday a deal that would have seen Navios Maritime Holdings Inc injecting a mix of equity and debt financing into the trust has fallen through.
The day's top traded counter was Rowsley, up 1.6 per cent or 0.2 cent to 13 cents on 118 million shares done.