Singapore shares buck regional trend, STI up 0.17%, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Singapore shares advanced on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street as concerns about the Federal Reserve dialling back on support for the economy eased.

The US$1.2 trillion (S$1.61 trillion) infrastructure spending deal reached had given US indexes a boost to reach fresh records.

The Singapore Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.17 per cent or 5.28 points to 3,126.88.

Key benchmarks in the region ended lower, however. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.07 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.06 per cent; Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.03 per cent; the Jakarta Composite Index shed 1.38 per cent while the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index ended 0.96 per cent lower.

On the local bourse, losers outnumbered gainers 243 to 225, after 1.57 billion securities worth $1 billion changed hands.

Among the STI constituents, Keppel Corp was the was the best-performing stock; its shares ended 3.7 per cent or $0.20 higher at $5.60.

CapitaLand, one of the top-performers, rose 1.6 per cent or $0.06 to end at $3.74. It had announced that it plans to divest partial stakes in a group of companies that own six of its Raffles City developments in China for 46.7 billion yuan (S$9.67 billion), which will generate over $2 billion in proceeds.

At the bottom of the table were Singapore Airlines which fell 2.6 per cent or $0.13 to $4.86.

The most heavily traded counter on the blue-chip index was Genting Singapore. It was down 1.2 per cent or one Singapore cent to 85.5 cents after over 42.4 million shares changed hands.

Outside the STI, Sembcorp Marine was the most actively traded counter by volume, with over 502 million shares traded. Its shares fell 4.3 per cent or 0.6 Singapore cent to 13.3 cents. Sembmarine and Keppel last week said they are in talks to merge their offshore and marine operations.