SINGAPORE - Singapore shares opened slightly higher on Monday (May 8), as investors looked beyond Mr Emmanuel Macron's expected victory as France's next president and focused on the upcoming first quarter earnings results of several key blue chip constituents.
Also helping sentiment is last Friday's robust American jobs report boosting optimism in the American economy.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.09 per cent or 3.05 points at 3,232.78 as at 9.40 am Singapore time. It closed up 0.03 per cent at 3,229.73 on Friday.
Traders attributed the local stock market's lukewarm reaction to investors having largely positioned for Mr Macron's victory in the run-up to Sunday's vote.
"People don't see the French elections affecting us that much compared with the UK's," remisier Desmond Leong said.
The focus here is more on the performance of local blue-chip companies as the earnings season gets under way, starting with OCBC Bank on Tuesday. Wilmar International will report its results on Thursday. Friday will see first-quarter results from ComfortDelGro Corp, Genting Singapore, UOL Group and Singapore Technologies Engineering as well as full-year results from SIA Engineering.
Around Asia, stocks climbed, with Japanese shares rallying after a three-day holiday, as investors looked beyond Mr Macron's expected victory and focused on improving global growth. Japan's Topix index rose the most in three months, leading an advance across the region after US stocks closed at a record on Friday on US jobs data. Financial markets in South Korea are closed on Monday for a public holiday.
Oil extended a rebound while gold climbed.
With the uncertainty over France's new leader now cleared, investors are also watching for Chinese data on exports and imports, and for signs on how a crackdown on Chinese financial markets by regulators is affecting the country, IG Asia market strategist Pan Jingyi said.
The euro soared to a six-month high against the greenback at US$1.1023 in early deals before easing gains at US$1.01. The European single currency rose to S$1.54 against the Singdollar.