Local shares closed slightly higher yesterday, thanks to better-than-expected China export data and overnight gains on Wall Street.
The Straits Times Index finished 0.2 per cent or 6.56 points higher at 3,237.05 but trading volumes were thinner than usual as investors held their fire until outcomes of the British election and a European Central Bank policy meeting were clear.
They were also braced for any surprise from former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's congressional testimony. About 1.9 billion units worth $899.9 million were traded, well below the average turnover of over $1 billion.
The market was boosted by the banks, Jardine Matheson Holdings and Singtel. DBS Group rose 0.2 per cent or four cents to $20.47 and OCBC Group edged up 0.2 per cent or two cents to $10.60.
Jardine Matheson added nearly 1 per cent or 65 US cents to US$66.60 while Singtel advanced 0.3 per cent or one cent to $3.76.
Bargain-hunting in several property counters also helped. CapitaLand gained 1.1 per cent or four cents to $3.62 while HongKong Land climbed 0.6 per cent or five US cents to US$7.79.
City Developments edged up 0.2 per cent or two cents to $10.76 but Far East Orchard dipped 0.3 per cent or 0.5 cent to $1.56.
Other actively traded property counters included Yanlord Land Group, which will join the STI reserve list on June 19. Companies in the reserve list will replace any STI constituents that become ineligible as a result of corporate action before the next review. The Chinese developer dipped 1.6 per cent or three cents to $1.89, after gaining 1.1 per cent since Monday to $1.92 on Wednesday.
Investor sentiment was boosted by news that China's exports accelerated last month on more buoyant global demand, while robust imports signalled resilience in the domestic economy.
Shanghai-La Asia gained 0.8 per cent or 10 HK cents to HK$12.86. This came after an SGX My Gateway report yesterday noted that the hotel giant was among a dozen top-performing Singapore consumer plays with a China focus.
The most actively traded pennies included Sanli Environmental, which made a sterling debut at 37.5 cents, well above its 22.5 cents offering, on trade of 26.8 million shares. The environmental engineering company's initial public offering was about 12.8 times subscribed.
BlackGold Natural Resources jumped 11.3 per cent or 1.4 cents to 13.8 cents, with 54.1 million shares traded, LionGold was flat at 0.1 cent on trade of 46.5 million shares while Addvalue Tech was unchanged at 5.7 cents, with 28.1 million shares traded.