Singapore shares end week in the black, STI up 0.5%

SINGAPORE stocks finished the week on a positive note, as gains on Wall Street buoyed investor optimism. The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.5 per cent or 16.24 points to close at 3,157.95.

Across the broader market, advancers outnumbered decliners 320 to 171, after 1.96 billion securities worth S$1.47 billion changed hands.

Markets across the region also reflected upbeat investor sentiments, closing higher on Friday. The Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng Index each gained 1.6 per cent, while the KLCI rose 0.2 per cent. The Jakarta Composite Index added 1.2 per cent, while the Kospi advanced 1.1 per cent.

"Asian shares bounced back from a three-month low on Friday," said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi. "Thanks to a late-day rally on Wall Street, optimism about global economic recovery was overshadowed by rising tensions between the West and China most of this week."

However, Mr Innes was quick to point out that some element of uncertainty is likely to remain in markets. He noted that even if the broader constructive narrative for a recovery from the pandemic remains intact, some areas of the market such as travel and leisure "remain very susceptible" to a reopening delay.

On the Singapore bourse, Jardine Cycle and Carriage was the top advancer for the day. The counter rose 0.9 per cent or S$0.20 to S$22.66.

Two of the trio of lenders were also among the biggest gainers. OCBC rose 1.6 per cent or S$0.18 to S$11.80, while DBS added 0.3 per cent or S$0.09 to S$28.59.

UOB, meanwhile, finished the day in the red. The stock fell 0.7 per cent or S$0.17 to S$25.68.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jardine Strategic Holdings was the biggest loser, falling 0.7 per cent or US$0.23 to close at US$33.27.

Aviation-related counters, too, booked declines on Friday. Singapore Airlines lost 0.9 per cent or S$0.05 to S$5.54, while Sats shed 2.5 per cent or S$0.11 to S$4.31.

Tech names such as Venture Corporation and iFast Corporation were also among the day's biggest losers. The former fell 0.5 per cent or S$0.09 to S$19.94, while the latter slipped 1.3 per cent or S$0.08 to S$5.94.

Spackman Entertainment Group was the most heavily traded counter, with some 260.2 million shares having changed hands over the course of the day. The stock closed at 0.7 Singapore cent, up 40 per cent or 0.2 cent. Other heavily traded counters were FJ Benjamin, Jiutian Chemical and Singtel.

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