SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore shares rose on Monday as investors were cheered by announcements over the weekend, although the region continued to see declines.
The Straits Times Index ended up 1.3 per cent at 3,089.65.
UOB Kay Hian analyst Adrian Loh said that reports of a potentially viable antiviral drug against Covid-19, as well as favourable news from both Singtel and ST Engineering, could have contributed to the positive sentiment.
Head of OCBC Investment Research Carmen Lee said that the market's climb could also be attributed to gains on Wall Street which saw the S&P 500 rise by 1.1 per cent last Friday.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced that the clinical trial of their oral antiviral drug showed about a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of Covid-19-related deaths and hospitalisations.
Meanwhile, Singtel shares climbed 1.2 per cent to $2.46, while ST Engineering closed up 2.7 per cent at $3.88.
Singtel said last Friday that it had sold its Australian tower assets for A$1.9 billion (S$1.88 billion), while ST Engineering announced the purchase of two United States transport solutions firms, TransCore Partners and TLP Holdings, for US$2.68 billion (S$3.6 billion).
While the local market tracked US gains, Singapore Exchange market strategist Geoff Howie said that regional markets were weighed down by domestic factors.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed down 1.1 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 2.2 per cent and Seoul's Kospi lost 1.6 per cent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index lost 0.13 per cent, but the Jakarta Composite Index bucked the trend, rising 1.83 per cent.
In the Singapore market, advancers outpaced decliners 248 to 238. Some 1.47 billion shares worth $1.18 billion changed hands.
Genting Singapore was the top gainer on the STI, climbing 2.8 per cent to close at 73 cents. At the bottom of the table was Keppel DC Reit, whose units declined by 1.2 per cent to $2.42.