STI, regional bourses edge up on back of Wall Street optimism

THE BUSINESS TIMES

The Straits Times Index climbed 33.65 points, or 1.07 per cent, to 3,182.90.

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Singapore stocks took the cue from Wall Street’s overnight gains and rallied in league with several Asian markets on Wednesday.

The widespread mood of optimism here and elsewhere helped send the Straits Times Index climbing 33.65 points, or 1.07 per cent, to 3,182.90.

Gainers outstripped losers 294 to 210 on the broader market, with 1.68 billion shares worth $1.52 billion changing hands.

DBS Bank benefited from the bullishness shown in the other two local banks, which delivered stellar second-quarter financial results Wednesday and raised their dividends after the cap on payouts was recently removed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

DBS gained 1.23 per cent to $30.58, OCBC Bank rose 1.8 per cent to $12.46 and UOB was up 1.78 per cent to $26.31.

DBS will release its financial results today.

Three Jardine companies closed down and were among the top losers for the day.

Jardine Matheson Holdings slipped 1.68 per cent to US$58.01, Dairy Farm International Holdings shed 1.90 per cent to US$3.62 and Jardine Cycle & Carriage declined 0.79 per cent to $20.09.

Wall Street provided the catalyst for much of the regional activity, with optimism around corporate earnings driving investors back into the market.

The Dow and S&P 500 both rose 0.8 per cent, while the Nasdaq moved ahead 0.6 per cent.

That helped the mood across the region, with the Shanghai Composite Index rising 0.85 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Index 0.88 per cent higher and the Kospi in South Korea climbing 1.34 per cent.

The champagne started flowing in Australia despite severe lockdowns in New South Wales and Queensland when the ASX 200 index closed at a record high after advancing 0.4 per cent on the back of surging mining stocks.

It was not all bubbly, however. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.21 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite closed down 0.6 per cent.

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