STI up 1.5% as certainty grows over US presidential succession

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore shares advanced on Tuesday following news of United States President Donald Trump giving the green light for President-elect Joe Biden to proceed with his White House transition, boosting the already-positive sentiment from prospects of an economic recovery.

Oanda Asia-Pacific senior market analyst Jeffery Halley said: "Markets love certainty and the move by Trump overnight partially removes ambiguity over the presidential succession."

With a Biden administration "expected to be much less isolationist", and the hope that the US will re-engage on global trade and improve relations with China, it will also be positive for Asia, he added.

Other Asians markets were also buoyed by the news. With the exception of Kuala Lumpur, key benchmarks in Hong Kong, Seoul, Japan and Jakarta closed higher.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 42.85 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 2,891.63. Across the broader market, gainers outpaced losers 327 to 184, with 3.98 billion securities worth $2.04 billion changing hands.

Transport-related counters were the best-performing on the blue chip index for the day. Singapore Airlines gained 8.4 per cent to $4.41. Following behind was Sats, which rose 7.4 per cent to $4.38.

The third-best-performing stock on the STI was ComfortDelGro, which rose 7.3 per cent to $1.77. It was also the STI's most active counter, with over 53.7 million shares changing hands. OCBC Investment Research said in a report yesterday that ComfortDelGro is expected to be a beneficiary of the easing movement restrictions.

At the bottom of the table was Jardine Cycle & Carriage, which sank 2.7 per cent to $21.24.

Another active counter was Sembcorp Marine, which gained 12 per cent to 16.8 cents.

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