SINGAPORE – Local shares racked up a second consecutive session of gains on expectations that the global banking crisis may be abating.
The improved mood on Wednesday sent the Straits Times Index (STI) up a robust 47.05 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 3,220.98, with gainers outstripping losers 386 to 208 on trade of 1.87 billion shares worth $1.39 billion.
“The absence of any negative developments in the banking sector has further brought calm to the risk environment,” said IG market analyst Yeap Jun Rong.
“As we head into the Federal Reserve meeting, expectations have been rooted that the Fed will take on a reassuring stance.”
All 30 STI constituents registered gains on Wednesday, with Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust the biggest winner among the blue chips, gaining 2.9 per cent to close at $1.77.
Genting Singapore was the most actively traded STI counter. The integrated resort operator closed 1.9 per cent higher at $1.09, after 65.3 million shares changed hands.
The local banks were among the top gainers: DBS rose 1.8 per cent to $33.50, OCBC gained 1.3 per cent to $12.36, and UOB jumped 2.9 per cent to end at $29.50.
Medtecs International climbed amid unusually high trading volumes on Wednesday morning, prompting a query from the Singapore Exchange on the counter’s “unusual price movements”.
The Catalist-listed protective gear manufacturer closed up 24.3 per cent at 13.8 cents, with 19.2 million shares changing hands – well above the counter’s average volume of 4.7 million.
Key markets across Asia mostly finished higher.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was the top gainer with a rise of 1.9 per cent, followed by the Hang Seng’s 1.7 per cent. The Shanghai Composite, South Korea’s Kospi and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia rose 0.3 to 1.2 per cent. Australian shares enjoyed their biggest one-day gain in two months, rising 0.9 per cent. THE BUSINESS TIMES