S’pore stocks up on economists’ outlook on GDP growth, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Local shares advanced on Tuesday on news that private-sector economists further raised their full-year outlook for Singapore’s gross domestic product to a growth of 6.5 per cent, up from their 5.8 per cent forecast in March.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.7 per cent or 21.73 points to end at 3,174.87. Across the broader market, advancers inched past decliners 274 to 239, with 2.47 billion securities worth S$1.31 billion changing hands.

Mr Olivier d’Assier, Qontigo’s head of applied research for the Asia-Pacific, noted that market sentiment across the globe continues to be closely linked to quantitative easing programmes by the central banks of various countries. “After weeks spent in the neutral zone, worrying that higher interest rates could chew ravenously at the core of the US and global economic recoveries, investors are walking over the line of ambivalence accepting the Fed’s pitch that growth and inflation can co-exist, if you continue to have easy money,” he said.

The trio of local lenders were among the biggest gainers on Tuesday, reversing their tumbles on the Singapore bourse on Monday. DBS Bank added 1.4 per cent or $0.41 to close at $30.07. UOB gained 0.5 per cent or $0.13 to $26.11; OCBC rose 0.8 per cent or $0.10 to $12.33.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jardine Matheson was the biggest loser, closing at US$62.58, down 0.3 per cent or US$0.19.

Aviation-related counters took large hits. Singapore Airlines fell 1 per cent or $0.05 to $5.08; Sats shed 1.2 per cent or $0.05 to $4.05.

Gold miner and explorer Shen Yao Holdings was the most heavily traded stock with 301.3 million shares changing hands, but ended the day flat at 0.7 Singapore cent.

Regional markets were a mixed bag of results at closing. The Nikkei 225 rose 1 per cent; the Kospi added 0.2 per cent and the Jakarta Composite Index gained 0.1 per cent. The KLCI fell 0.1 per cent, and the Hang Seng Index, 0.7 per cent.