STI climbs back above key 3,000 level as Singapore shares rally for second day

Singapore shares gained in early trading on Friday, finally sending the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) back above the key psychological threshold of 3,000.

The STI climbed about 0.9 per cent by 11.10am Friday, reaching 3,015.1. It had rebounded nearly 1 per cent the day before to close at 2,988.27 after five straight days of losses.

Other regional markets also rose on Friday as optimism returned to investors, following overnight news that jobless claims in the United States had fallen for the first time in three weeks.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.6 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up by 0.7 per cent, and Thailand's SET Index gained 1.2 per cent. Bourses in Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan were also higher.

However, China's stock market bucked the trend when it reopened for trading on Friday after a week-long holiday. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index shed 0.5 per cent in morning trade, with financial and consumer companies leading the decline.