STI up 0.7% after resilient corporate earnings and news

Singapore - Shares closed higher on Thursday following a raft of positive earnings results and corporate news.

The Straits Times Index rose 21.2 points or 0.7 per cent to 3,304.93.

Some 1.5 billion shares worth $1.2 billion traded hands, better than the 987.3 million shares totalling $965.6 million that exchanged hands the previous day.

The top volume counter was palm oil firm Golden Agri Resources, which saw a hefty 188.3 million shares traded. It closed four cents lower at 47 cents.

The firm reported an 85.6 per cent plunge in third quarter net profit to US$4.4 million.

IG market strategist Ryan Huang attributed the STI's good showing to resilient results from companies, which helped to bring investors back to the market.

He noted that telco SingTel's results were in line with expectations, while property developer City Developments held up better-than-expected.

Corporate news also drove the buying sentiment.

Commodities firm Olam International jumped 16 cents or 7.1 per cent to $2.41 after it said earlier this week that it is in talks on a potential deal. The firm is expected to release its quarterly results on Friday morning.

United Envirotech saw much action after it announced on Wednesday that a consortium including China's biggest conglomerate Citic is taking a majority stake in the firm, offering $1.65 a share, a 9 per cent premium from its last transacted price of $1.515 last Friday.

The wastewater treatment firm closed nine cents higher at $1.605

Asian bourses were mixed after China reported disappointing retail sales and factory output figures that led to speculation the government may step in with stimulus measures to boost flagging growth.

Shanghai and Seoul both gave up 0.4 per cent while Hong Kong gained 0.3 per cent and Tokyo rose 1.1 per cent.