Singapore shares rally to near two year highs

Interior of the SGX Centre, which houses the Singapore Exchange Ltd.
Interior of the SGX Centre, which houses the Singapore Exchange Ltd.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares rallied past 3,200 to near two-year highs, fuelled by better-than-expected numbers from DBS Group and a strong lead from Nasdaq's record finish.

The Straits Times Index closed up 35.67 points or 1.12 per cent at 3,211.11, buoyed by all three banks, Jardine Matheson Holdings and Global Logistic Properties.

Singapore's top lender DBS jumped 2.6 per cent or 51 cents to S$19.86, after it announced that net profit hit a record S$1.21 billion for the first-quarter, up 1 per cent from a year ago. The bank's earnings beat analyst estimates of S$1.09 billion.

KGI Securities trading strategist Nicholas Teo cited "a 26 per cent growth in the wealth management division, partially aided by DBS's purchase of ANZ's wealth operations".

UOB climbed 4.6 per cent or S$1 to S$22.80 after a number of analysts kept their buy call on the bank. Investors were comforted to hear that the worst of the non-performing loan issues should be over, a dealer said.

Positive sentiment also spilled over to OCBC Group, which rose 1.8 per cent or 18 cents to S$9.98. Investors are watching for the United States Federal Reserve's meeting on 1800 GMT Wednesday (2am Thursday morning Singapore time) at the conclusion of its two-day meeting; and US jobs data due on Friday (May 5) for clues on interest rates.

Meanwhile, smaller and midcap stocks also helped lift the market after several companies posted robust earnings.