SINGAPORE - Singapore equities notched gains Monday (May 15) as investors in the region shrugged off fears over North Korea's missile test and a global cyber attack.
A surge in oil prices likely helped sentiment as well, after the energy ministers of key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia said an Opec-led crude production cut would be extended from the middle of this year until March 2018.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) added 8.92 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 3,264.21. Turnover across the bourse came up to 1.74 billion shares worth S$1.31 billion.
Hong Kong led gains in Asia, rising 0.86 per cent to a 21-month high amid signs of stabilisation in the Chinese market as Shanghai put on 0.22 per cent.
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Tokyo edged down 0.07 per cent while Seoul climbed 0.2 per cent.
The STI was mostly propped up by the blue chips, including Singtel, which put on 0.8 per cent or three cents to S$3.74. The telco is due to announce quarterly results on Thursday.
Genting Singapore shot up 6.5 per cent or seven cents to S$1.15 in heavy trade. The casino operator last week posted a net profit of S$181.1 million for the first quarter, well up on the S$10.8 million in the same period a year earlier.
DBS Equity Research maintained its "buy" call on the counter with a higher target price of S$1.35, noting that its rally "can be sustained".
"Our view is underpinned by expected positive newsflow including continued recovery in earnings, details of Genting Singapore moving towards a more efficient capital structure, refresh of Resorts World Sentosa, and bid for a Japanese casino next year," it said in a report.
Some of the biggest laggards included transport group ComfortDelGro, which slumped 5.2 per cent or 14 cents to S$2.55. The firm last week reported a 12.4 per cent growth in first-quarter earnings to S$82.5 million, although its operating profit would have shrunk by 8.1 per cent to S$100.5 million excluding a special dividend.
A CIMB report noted that ComfortDelGro's earnings came in below expectations as a result of declining taxi profit due to competition from Uber and Grab. It cut its rating on the stock from "add" to "hold" in a report, with a lower target price of S$2.78, citing "lower taxi profit ahead".
Other actives included commodity trader Noble Group, which continued its descent from last week, slumping 11.3 per cent or 7.5 cents to 59 cents, while mDR soared 16.7 per cent or 0.1 cent to 0.7 cents.