SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore shares advanced strongly on Wednesday, with investors showing optimism as the country transitions towards an endemic Covid-19 road map.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 1.4 per cent, or 44.37 points, to close at 3,156.42.
IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong said the STI is finding some strength on renewed investor optimism ahead of today's monetary policy statement from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
"The policy stance may be expected to remain unchanged for now, as economic recovery from Covid-19 (chugs along)," he added.
He said better clarity on the country's endemic approach to Covid-19 recently has "removed the previous overhang surrounding reopening plans, lifting investors' confidence that the general direction will continue to point towards reopening".
This led to higher trading volumes on the local exchange. SGX fund flow data showed net institutional inflows in the past four weeks.
Among the most hotly traded stocks was Thai Beverage, whose shares climbed 3.7 per cent to close at 71 cents, finishing the day as the top STI performer.
Other gainers included Genting Singapore, which climbed 2.6 per cent to 77.5 cents.
Shares of DBS, OCBC and UOB gained between 1.2 and 2.1 per cent.
Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the only STI counter to end the day lower, with its shares falling 1.4 per cent to close at $1.38.
Across the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers 279 to 152 after 1.5 billion securities worth $1.5 billion changed hands.
Thomson Medical shares were the most actively traded by volume. The counter climbed 4.6 per cent to close at 9.1 cents, with 75.7 million shares changing hands.
Key indices in Japan and Australia ended the day in the red, but other major indices in China, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia finished higher.