SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Gains on Wall Street had the usual effect here and galvanised investors to go back into the market and send the local bourse higher.
The Straits Times Index (STI) closed up 17.27 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 3,101.15, with gainers easily beating losers 308 to 163 on trade of 1.42 billion shares worth $1.28 billion.
Maybank Kim Eng research head Thilan Wickramasinghe said the market moves on Thursday could have followed the relief rebound in the United States, where hopes rose for a debt ceiling resolution. Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that his party would support a federal debt ceiling extension into December, heading off a historic default.
Mr Wickramasinghe said: "At the same time, structurally, we think there is increasing investor interest in South-east Asia as vaccine deployments accelerate and potential for reopenings increase."
The optimism here was reflected across much of the region.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 3.1 per cent, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 per cent, the Kospi in Seoul gained 1.8 per cent and the Kuala Lumpur Composite rose 0.1 per cent, but the Jakarta Composite Index dipped 0.01 per cent.
Only four of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the red. Sats was at the bottom of the table, falling 1 per cent to close at $4.13.
City Developments Limited was the top gainer on the blue-chip index, rising 3.7 per cent to $7.08.
Outside the STI, Hatten Land was the most actively traded by volume with 122.07 billion shares worth $8.3 million traded. It rose 1.5 per cent to 6.6 cents. The property developer announced on Thursday that its subsidiary had signed an agreement to develop a token system that will help promote a digital economy in the Malaysian state of Melaka.