Singapore stocks yesterday reversed the previous day's losses to end in positive territory, with the Straits Times Index (STI) inching up 3.96 points, or 0.13 per cent, to end at 3,165.
This follows the release of Singapore's latest Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) on Wednesday. Last month's PMI was 50.7, marking the 11th straight month in expansion territory. A reading above 50 indicates expansion; one below indicates contraction.
UOB economist Barnabas Gan said yesterday that "barring an exacerbation of Covid-19 infections in Singapore, the manufacturing sector is expected to be one of the key pillars of growth for Singapore".
Among the STI constituents, Dairy Farm emerged at the top of the table for the day, gaining 2.06 per cent to end at US$4.46.
Coming in second was City Developments (CDL), which rose 1.56 per cent to $7.83.
In a note yesterday, DBS Group Research said CDL trades at an "attractive valuation" of 0.8 times of its price-to-net asset value, which is "even lower than the low seen during the global financial crisis".
CDL "is a prime beneficiary of the current buoyant residential property market in Singapore", it added.
In contrast, transport counters ended the day in the red.
Sats slumped to the bottom of the index, falling 1.25 per cent to end at $3.96. ComfortDelGro and Singapore Airlines declined 0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively, to end at $1.67 and $4.93.
On the broader market, advancers outnumbered decliners 282 to 223, with 2.45 billion securities worth $1.15 billion changing hands.
Across the region, Asian markets ended the day mixed. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index gained 0.39 per cent amid the pickup in the country's vaccination drive. In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi advanced 0.72 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong ended the day lower, falling 1.13 per cent with investors taking a backseat as they await the release of United States jobs data at the end of the week.