Singapore shares extended their gains for the third consecutive day yesterday as sentiments in the region were buoyed by strong data out of China and robust overnight gains on Wall Street ahead of key inflation data out of the United States.
The key Straits Times Index rose 19.67 points, or 0.63 per cent, to finish at 3,166.81 yesterday.
Key gauges in the region, except for Australia, posted gains. Japan and China were up 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong jumped 1.6 per cent, and Malaysia gained 0.4 per cent even as the country posted another record day of Covid-19 infections.
The robust China data is a shot in the arm for Asia, said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley. However, he added: "Ex-China, Asia and Australia are dealing with varying waves of Covid-19, which, given their stubborn refusal to go away, will inevitably lead to some mollifying of growth prospects for the rest of the year."
Traders kept their eyes peeled on inflation data out of the US, which could offer clues on the Federal Reserve's timeline for easing bond purchases.
An upside surprise on the inflation data may inject dollar bulls with fresh inspiration as expectations mount over the Fed tapering asset purchases sooner than expected. However, if the data fails to meet expectations, it could reduce the pressure on the Fed to make a move, resulting in a weaker dollar, said FXTM senior research analyst Lukman Otunuga.
Turnover in the local bourse came in at 1.61 billion units worth $1.29 billion. Gainers outpaced losers with 282 counters up and 213 down. Gains were led by Singapore's banking trio DBS, UOB and OCBC Bank.
Marco Polo Marine was the day's second-most active with close to 99 million shares worth $2.7 million traded. The counter rose 16 per cent to 2.9 cents.
Singapore Exchange added 1.6 per cent to $11.40.