Singapore bourses turn positive on China, Wall Street lead, STI closes 13 points up

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares closed higher on a positive lead from Wall Street and a rally in Chinese stocks on speculation of further stimulus to prop up a sagging property market.

The Straits Times Index closed 0.47 per cent or 13.38 points up to 2,883.64.

Shanghai closed up 2.3 per cent on speculation that Chinese authorities could make mortgage interest payments tax deductible in order to stimulate its property market.

Chinese brokerages and banks also rallied on Chinese media reports of tax-deductible interest payments.

The surge in property developer stocks in China fuelled gains in Singapore-listed China-related plays like CapitaLand, Global Logistics and Yanlord. CapitaLand jumped 1.92 per cent, or six cents to S$3.18, with 16.2 million shares traded; Global Logistic gained 1.49 per cent or three cents to S$2.05, with 23.5 million shares traded, while Yanlord grew 1.45 per cent or 1.5 cents to S$1.05.

Penny plays remain the most actively traded, with Alliance Minera jumping 14.8 per cent or 1.9 cents to 14.7 cents, with 45.5 million shares traded; Memstar Tech gained 8.3 per cent or 0.1 cents to 1.3 cents, with 27.7 million shares traded. Loyz Energy slipped 1.43 per cent or 0.1 cents to 6.9 cents, with 27.5 million shares changing hands.

Sembcorp Marine slumped to their lowest level in more than six years after the company said it expects to record a net loss for the fourth quarter ending Dec 31, and a significant decline in net profit for the full year.

The rigbuilder said its earnings for those periods were negatively impacted by the challenging operating environment and customers deferring or seeking to defer their rig orders.

SembMarine fell 4.4 per cent or nine cents to S$1.97, while Sembcorp Industries dipped 2.8 per cent or nine cents to S$3.16.

gleong@sph.com.sg