Singapore shares trading higher on Monday afternoon with STI up 0.54%

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Stocks continued their recovery as trading resumed on Monday afternoon (Aug 19), with the Straits Times Index (STI) climbing 0.54 per cent or 16.97 points on the day to 3,132.00 as at 1.04pm.

Gainers outnumbered losers 197 to 112, after 689.9 million securities worth $448.7 million changed hands.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding continued to see heavy trading as it rebounded from last week's heavy losses. Shares in China's largest non-state owned shipbuilder were up $0.06 or 6.1 per cent to $1.05 after about 62.2 million shares changed hands.

Yangzijiang's shares dived by as much as 20 per cent on Aug 8 before a trading halt was called following a query from the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The trigger for the panic selling was said to have stemmed from a report by global shipping news service TradeWinds two weeks ago that Liu Jianguo, described as a "veteran political patron of the shipbuilding industry", was being probed for "serious disciplinary violations". Mr Liu is also the chairman of a charity foundation set up by Yangzijiang executive chairman Ren Yuanlin. Yangzijiang said on Wednesday that Mr Ren is assisting Chinese authorities with investigations.

Shares of gold exploration and mining firm LionGold were unchanged at $0.001 after about 93 million shares were traded.

Oilfield equipment supplies and services company Magnus Energy was flat at $0.001 before it initiated a trading halt during Monday's midday trading break, ahead of a pending announcement.

Among active STI index stocks, Genting Singapore traded up $0.02 or 2.3 per cent to $0.895.

The three local banks all gained ground, with DBS up $0.09 or 0.4 per cent to $24.79, OCBC gaining $0.08 or 0.8 per cent to $10.71, and UOB advancing $0.05 or 0.2 per cent to $25.09.

In Asia, markets rallied on Monday following a strong lead from Wall Street and an extra tailwind from a move by China's central bank to change the way a key interest rate benchmark is set, seen by analysts as reducing borrowing costs for companies.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) on Saturday unveiled key interest rate reforms to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies and support a slowing economy caught in the grip of a bruising trade war with the United States.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.9 per cent while the Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.5 per cent.

Elsewhere, Tokyo added 0.5 per cent by the break while Sydney climbed 0.8 per cent.

Seoul was up 0.5 per cent with Wellington, Taipei and Jakarta also in positive territory.