STI begins week on positive note, rising 0.39%

The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 0.39 per cent to end at 3,141.02.
The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 0.39 per cent to end at 3,141.02.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore stocks ended Monday in positive territory, extending Wall Street's rally last Friday after a jobs report out of the United States signalled that the economic recovery remained intact. The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) gained 12.07 points, or 0.39 per cent, to end at 3,141.02.

Investors also took heart on the possible easing of Covid-19 restrictions locally.

In Parliament on Monday, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said the Government expects to raise the maximum group size for dining in at food and beverage outlets to five people from July 12.

Among the STI constituents, Frasers Logistics and Commercial Trust emerged as the best performer, gaining 3.5 per cent to end at $1.48. It was followed by Wilmar International, which rose 2.45 per cent to $4.60.

Dairy Farm slumped to the bottom of the index, falling 0.94 per cent to end at US$4.21.

Keppel Corp also slipped 0.74 per cent to $5.37.

On the broader market, advancers outnumbered decliners 287 to 209, as 1.9 billion securities worth $959.64 million changed hands.

According to a Singapore Department of Statistics statement on Monday, the Republic's retail sales rose 79.7 per cent year on year in May to $3.3 billion, rebounding from the low base during the circuit breaker last year.

UOB economist Barnabas Gan noted that the growth in retail sales "suggested that domestic demand was buoyant despite the implementation of phase two and phase two (heightened alert)", adding that "with the recent decline in locally transmitted Covid-19 infections in Singapore to single digit amid a gradual improvement in the labour market, retail sales growth should continue to expand for the rest of the year".

Across the region, Asian markets ended the day mixed.

Japanese shares slipped amid concerns over rising Covid-19 infections in the country. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.64 per cent to end at 28,598.19. The Hang Seng Index fell 0.59 per cent to end at 28,143.50.

In contrast, the benchmark Kospi ended up 0.35 per cent at 3,293.21.