STI up 0.7% as upbeat macroeconomic data lifts investor sentiment

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.7 per cent or 22.48 points to finish the day at 3,146.09.
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.7 per cent or 22.48 points to finish the day at 3,146.09.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore stocks advanced for a second day in a row on Tuesday as reports of upbeat macroeconomic data stoked investor optimism.

Singapore's first-quarter economic growth exceeded earlier estimates by more than 1 percentage point, growing 1.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Non-oil domestic exports rose 9.7 per cent in Q1, reversing the dip of 0.5 per cent in the quarter before.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.7 per cent, or 22.48 points, to finish the day at 3,146.09. Advancers outnumbered decliners 305 to 173, with 1.95 billion securities worth $1.29 billion changing hands.

Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley noted that data released in Asian markets such as Singapore, Thailand and South Korea is unlikely to move the needle much.

"None of the data will have any impact, as each of the countries mentioned, plus most of Asia ex-China is struggling to deal with waves of Covid-19 infections," he said.

The trio of local lenders were among the biggest gainers on Tuesday.

DBS Bank added 0.7 per cent, or $0.20, to $29.97; UOB rose 0.8 per cent, or $0.20, to $25.89; and OCBC Bank gained 1.5 per cent, or $0.18, to close at $12.22.

Aviation-related stocks recovered after booking losses in Monday's trading session.

Singapore Airlines advanced 2.5 per cent, or $0.12, to $4.86, while Sats closed at $3.75, up 1.4 per cent, or $0.05.

Malaysia-based iron ore producer Southern Alliance Mining was the biggest loser of the day. The counter fell 6.2 per cent, or 6.5 Singapore cents, to 98.5 cents.

Singapore Exchange was another decliner, shedding 0.6 per cent, or $0.06, to $10.37.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets generally ended the day in the black.

The KLCI rose 0.4 per cent, the Kospi added 0.9 per cent and the Hang Seng Index advanced 1.8 per cent. The Nikkei 225 and Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.