Singapore shares closed higher yesterday following Wall Street's new highs on optimism over corporate tax cuts and other business-friendly policy proposals reiterated by US President Donald Trump.
The Straits Times Index rose 0.44 per cent or 13.71 points to 3,136.48, buoyed by Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which jumped 4.1 per cent or four cents to $1.02 after a report by DBS Group Research, which has a buy call on the Chinese shipbuilder.
"As the largest and most cost-efficient private shipbuilder in China, Yangzijiang is well positioned to benefit from the state-owned enterprise reform in China and ride the anticipated shipping recovery," the broker said.
The bourse also got a lift from the Jardine group of companies. Jardine Matheson Holdings gained 2.3 per cent or US$1.47 to US$65.60, and Jardine Cycle & Carriage rose 1.8 per cent or 79 cents to $44.70.
Improving sentiment over the oil and gas sector continued to drive gains in Keppel Corp, which rose 1.8 per cent or 13 cents to $7.22, and Sembcorp Marine, which grew 1.6 per cent or three cents to $1.935.
Other gainers included Sats, which jumped 1.8 per cent or nine cents to $5.07, and City Developments, which rose 1.7 per cent or 16 cents to $9.74.
Banks gave back some gains after an initial rally on heightened expectations of an interest rate hike this month as economic conditions improve. DBS Group Holdings rose 1.1 per cent or 21 cents to $19.03.
Privatisation fever fuelled buying interest in semiconductor equipment maker UMS. Its shares gained 1.5 per cent or one cent to 69 cents after analysts touted it as an "attractive takeover target". The stock has a dividend yield of 8.9 per cent.
Property firm Bukit Sembawang jumped 7.8 per cent or 38 cents to $5.23 after DBS Group Research said it is a potential takeover target and an "attractive prospect for any investor or developer who wants access to landbank in Singapore".
"The company is flush with cash, has a dividend yield of about 7 per cent and may be a potential takeover target if its major shareholder Lee Rubber decides to sell out," a dealer said.
Yanlord Land jumped 5.3 per cent or eight cents to $1.58 after DBS maintained a buy call on the Chinese property developer on its strong full-year 2016 results and dividend outlook.
Among the top actives was Noble Group, which fell 2.3 per cent or 0.5 cent to 21.5 cents on 85.2 million shares traded. DBS had issued a hold rating on the penny stock. It noted that while Noble had rallied on prospects of an investment by Sinochem, a further re-rating of the commodities trader is "unjustified" as the investment is not a sure bet yet, and its cash flow has not improved.
GSS Energy jumped 10.3 per cent or 1.4 cents to 15 cents, with 83.1 million shares done. Artivision Tech fell 7.7 per cent or 0.2 cent to 2.4 cents on 49.1 million shares traded.