Singapore shares clock largest single-day gain in more than a year

HOPES of more easy money drove the Singapore market to its largest jump in over a year on Thursday.

The benchmark Straits Times Index jumped 60.88 points or 1.91 per cent to 3,248.92, the largest percentage increase since March last year.

In terms of points, the STI has not risen more than 60 points in a single session since October 2011.

Regional markets were rampant on hopes that the United States central bank would continue its massive money-printing programme.

The signs from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke have been mixed recently. On May 22 he hinted that the money-printing may soon be scaled back. But on Wednesday he seemed to change tack, telling a conference that the US economy continues to need "highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future".

The STI was driven up by SingTel, which soared 17 cents or 4.5 per cent to $3.92. Yield stocks like telcos will benefit if there is an extended period of low interest rates and money printing.

United Overseas Bank also played a large part, rising 79 cents or 3.9 per cent to $21.15.