Singapore shares rally to near 2-year high

Rise helped by better-than-expected results from DBS Group and Nasdaq's record finish

Local shares shot past 3,200 points to a near two-year high, thanks to better-than-expected results from DBS Group and a strong lead from Nasdaq's record finish.

The Straits Times Index closed up 35.67 points or 1.12 per cent at 3,211.11, buoyed by all three banks, Jardine Matheson Holdings and Global Logistic Properties.

Jardine Matheson gained nearly 1 per cent or 64 US cents (89 Singapore cents) to US$65.17, while GLP rose 1.7 per cent or five cents to $2.93. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.7 per cent on Monday to 6,091.60.

DBS jumped 2.6 per cent or 51 cents to $19.86 after announcing that net profit hit a record $1.21 billion for the first quarter, up 1 per cent from a year earlier and ahead of analyst estimates of $1.09 billion.

UOB climbed 4.6 per cent or $1 to $22.80 after several analysts kept their buy call on the bank. Investors were comforted to hear that the worst of the non-performing loan issues should be over, a dealer said.

RHB Securities maintained a buy call, saying UOB's results are in line with its estimates, and reflect stabilisation in its asset quality.

Positive sentiment also spilled over to OCBC Group, which rose 1.8 per cent or 18 cents to $9.98. Investors are watching for the United States Federal Reserve's meeting later this week and US jobs data due on Friday for clues on interest rates.

Meanwhile, smaller and mid-cap stocks also helped lift the market after several companies posted robust earnings. Among them was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which gained 2.6 per cent or three cents to $1.18 after it posted a 49 per cent jump in first-quarter net profit to 667.7 million yuan (S$135.3 million) and a 73 per cent surge in revenue to 4.7 billion yuan.

Bond specialist iFast Corp gained nearly 7 per cent or five cents to 76.5 cents after posting a 60.7 per cent surge in net profit to $2.01 million in its first quarter on revenue of $22.1 million.

Electronics maker Venture Corp jumped 5.7 per cent or 70 cents to $12.90 after a 36 per cent gain in first quarter net profit to $48.6 million.

OCBC Investment Research reiterated a buy call, saying its "value creation strategy for customers... is now bearing fruit". CNMC Goldmine fell 8 per cent or three cents to 34.5 cents, after it issued a profit warning on Friday for the first quarter due to an expected drop in revenue from lower ore grades.

Other actively traded counters included digital safety firm Disa, which jumped 7.1 per cent or 0.2 cents to three cents, with 245.4 million shares traded.

Noble Group lost 9.8 per cent or 1.4 cents to 12.9 cents, with 179.2 million shares traded. Addvalue Tech gained 1.9 per cent or 0.1 cents to 5.3 cents, with 124.6 million shares on trade. Loyz Energy was flat at 2.5 cents, with 60.9 million shares traded, while Nobel Design rose 6.4 per cent or three cents to 50 cents, with 50.6 million shares traded.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore shares rally to near 2-year high'. Print Edition | Subscribe