STI up 37 points as regional markets rebound

Despite the Greek debt crisis, the benchmark Straits Times Index closed 37.15 points or 1.13 per cent up on Tuesday.
Despite the Greek debt crisis, the benchmark Straits Times Index closed 37.15 points or 1.13 per cent up on Tuesday. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Local stocks joined regional markets in a surprising rebound on Tuesday even as the Greek debt crisis looms in the backdrop. Investors may be betting on a last minute resolution from the situation, analysts said, but the days ahead are still looking uncertain.

The benchmark Straits Times Index closed 37.15 points or 1.13 per cent up at 3,317.33, recovering from the 1.23 per cent drop on Monday. The momentum was strong throughout, with the index surging as high as 3,324 and staying above 3,310 most of the day.

Noble Group was the top gaining blue chip yesterday, ending four cents or 5.56 per cent higher at 76 cents. It was also the most active counter with over 55 million shares changing hands, pointing to further institutional action in the background after Noble's recent share buybacks.

All three banking stocks gained after a day of selldown. DBS closed 39 cents or 1.92 per cent up at S$20.69, OCBC was up eight cents or 0.79 per cent to close at S$10.18, and United Overseas Bank ended 17 cents or 0.74 per cent higher at S$23.07.

On the other end of the ledger, only five stocks closed lower yesterday. Genting Singapore fell the most on the STI, closing 0.5 cent or 0.56 per cent to 89.5 cents. Sembcorp Industries pared two cents or 0.51 per cent to end at S$3.89.

All major overseas markets were up yesterday, also recouping ground after Monday's retreat. In China, the government stepped up its efforts to steady the teetering markets, announcing yesterday draft rules that will allow pension funds to invest in stocks. This pushed Shanghai up 5.6 per cent in a roller-coaster day when it fell as much as 5.1 per cent in the early trading hours.

Hong Kong closed 1.09 per cent higher, taking cues from the Mainland rally. Tokyo gained 0.63 per cent, while Kuala Lumpur was up 0.87 per cent.

whwong@sph.com.sg