Investors piled into banks and property counters ahead of several local blue chip firms' earnings results and a meeting of the US Federal Reserve's policy-setting body.
This sent Singapore's shares to a two-year high. The Straits Times Index jumped 0.51 per cent or 17.03 points to 3,327.83, led by the banks, City Developments, CapitaLand and Thai Beverage.
OCBC Bank rallied 1.3 per cent or 14 cents to $11.18; DBS Group gained 0.7 per cent or 14 cents to $21.60; United Overseas Bank rose 0.5 per cent or 11 cents to $24.20; Thai Beverage jumped 3.8 per cent or 3.5 cents to 96.5 cents; and CapitaLand rose 0.8 per cent or three cents to $3.74.
"It's largely rotational play into banks and property," a remisier said.
CDL jumped 2.5 per cent or 28 cents to $11.29 following news that one of its luxury freehold properties in prime District 10 fetched the highest sale price of $17 million ($3,073 per sq ft) for the period July 4 to 11, according to a caveat lodged with URA on July 10.
Other beneficiaries of improved property sentiment included Wing Tai, which gained 2.5 per cent or five cents to $2.07; Heeton, which rose 2.1 per cent or one cent to 49 cents; and Wheelock Properties, which edged up 0.3 per cent or 0.5 cent to $1.895.
Profit-taking pushed shares of Great Eastern Holdings, OCBC's Singapore-listed insurance arm, down 12 cents to $24.78 after it said its second-quarter earnings more than doubled to $279.5 million from a year ago and proposed an interim dividend of 10 cents.
Meanwhile, pennies were again the most actively traded. Sincap Group tumbled 35.4 per cent or 1.7 cents to 3.1 cents on talk that a broker had imposed trading curbs to limit clients' speculative exposure. Some 298 million shares were traded. The fallout hit pennies, including Rowsley, which slipped 10.7 per cent or 1.8 cents to 15.1 cents on trade of 234.8 million shares.
Swee Hong lost 8.7 per cent or 0.2 cent to 2.1 cents on turnover of 90.7 million shares. Moya Asia dipped 2.6 per cent or 0.3 cent to 11.3 cents, while Jadason Enterprises shed 8.3 per cent or 0.9 cent to 10 cents.
China Star Food Group, which jumped 11.5 per cent or 1.2 cents to 11.6 cents, was queried by the Singapore Exchange over its unusual trading volume. It replied that it could not explain the activity.
Frasers Centrepoint Trust, which has six suburban malls, finished unchanged at $2.14 after it reported that turnover slipped 3.3 per cent to $43.6 million for the third quarter, compared with a year earlier.
The decline was largely the result of refurbishment work at Northpoint mall in Yishun, which will be completed in September.
Mapletree Logistics Trust gained 1.2 per cent or 1.5 cents to $1.235 after it reported first-quarter distribution per unit grew to 1.887 cents backed by stronger earnings and contributions from acquisitions.