Bulls And Bears

Soaring local banks help STI to breach key 3,000-point mark

Benchmark closes up 0.89%; gainers pip decliners 251 to 229 * DBS, OCBC hit 52-week highs while UOB closes two cents shy * Amid robust regional trade, HK outpaces peers with 2.7% gain

A belter of a performance from the three local banks helped send shares in Singapore past the 3,000-point mark amid robust regional trade yesterday.

The buoyant mood drove the Straits Times Index up 26.5 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 3,000.37 - the first time it had reached that key level since late January.

Gainers outnumbered decliners 251 to 229 on strong trade of 3.23 billion shares worth $1.47 billion.

The banks were the standouts of the day, with DBS and OCBC both hitting 52-week highs. DBS added 2 per cent to $27.48 and OCBC advanced 1.53 per cent to $11.25, while UOB was only two cents shy of its 52-week high after rising 1.4 per cent to $25.34.

GS Holdings closed up 25.58 per cent to 54 cents, making it one of the better performers yesterday.

The rise came despite the food and beverage player reporting a 62 per cent drop in revenue to $13.6 million for continuing operations and a 95 per cent plunge in profits for last year to $694,000.

Mainboard-listed Oceanus Group was the most-heavily traded stock, with 1.33 billion shares done. The unusual price movements of the watch-listed seafood and fast-moving consumer goods value chain manager - the stock dived as much as 45.3 per cent before closing down 34.4 per cent at 4.2 cents - drew a query from the bourse regulator.

There was plenty of activity elsewhere. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index outpaced its peers with a 2.7 per cent gain while the Shanghai Composite finished 1.95 per cent higher and Malaysian shares put on 1.18 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index added 0.51 per cent and South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.29 per cent, while the ASX in Australia rose 0.82 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2021, with the headline 'Soaring local banks help STI to breach key 3,000-point mark'. Subscribe