Singapore’s stock market rebounded in tandem with its regional peers yesterday, hitting a new full-year high as investors took their cue from gains on Wall Street amid expectations of a delayed interest rate hike.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 12.71 points or 0.37 per cent to 3,465.62 points.
The STI hit its 52-week high while breaking through the resistance level of around 3,450. Amid the bullish sentiment, 1.95 billion shares worth $ 952 million were traded yesterday.
This followed a 0.66 per cent rise on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, despite fresh signs that the United States economic recovery might be slowing down.
“After the disappointing job data in the US last week, investors are seeing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve may postpone interest rate hikes to September. This helped push up the US market, and local sentiments also benefited as a result,” remisier Alvin Yong told The Straits Times.
The best-performing blue chip was Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit), which closed seven cents or 2.73 per cent higher at $ 2.63, also its 52-week high.
The Reit’s recent move to acquire a Science Park property while divesting a Senoko Way asset at a premium will have a slight positive impact on unitholders, OCBC Investment Research analyst Andy Wong said last week.
Energy and offshore-related plays also rose on the back of a 5.8 per cent rise in Brent futures to US$ 58.12 per barrel overnight.
Sembcorp Industries closed six cents or 1.40 per cent higher at $ 4.36, while Sembcorp Marine went up four cents or 1.37 per cent to close at $ 2.96. Keppel Corp rose 11 cents or 1.23 per cent to $ 9.08.
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines lost the most among the blue chips, sliding 11 cents or 0.92 per cent to close at $ 11.84.
Sentiment over the national carrier has remained mixed in recent times amid the intense global competition in the aviation industry. Reflecting the difficult operating environment, SIA’s passenger carriage dropped 3.5 per cent in February as a result.
Among the banks, DBS Group Holdings shed 13 cents or 0.64 per cent to close at $ 20.32. But banking plays remain a sound choice, Mr Yong said, as rising interbank rates in Singapore are set to benefit local banks’ margins. United Overseas Bank rose 21 cents or 0.9 per cent to $ 23.43, while OCBC Bank closed five cents or 0.47 per cent higher at $ 10.65.
Elsewhere in Asia, all major markets ended the day on a high note. Shanghai surged 2.52 per cent to hit a fresh seven-year high, as investors continued to bet on further stimulus measures by the government. Tokyo gained 1.25 per cent, while Kuala Lumpur rose 0.74 per cent. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange was closed.