Singapore stocks climb on Wall Street strength; STI up 0.7% on Monday

THE Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.7 per cent or 22.61 points to close at 3,121.76 points on Monday (Jul 18), tracking a rally on Wall Street last Friday.

Across the wider market, gainers outnumbered losers 312 to 164, with 835.7 million shares worth S$736.6 million changing hands.

"Wall Street staged an impressive rally after better than expected retail sales and consumer sentiment data from the US on Friday, as markets focused on a still-robust US consumer while ignoring its ominous warnings for the trajectory of US Federal Reserve monetary policy," said Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

"With a dearth of tier-1 data this week, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in a pre-meeting media blackout, the equity rally could potentially extend throughout the week," he added.

Asian markets were also helped along by hopes of more aggressive stimulus measures in China to resolve its property market wobbles, as officials from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) over the weekend promised more support for the economy.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2.7 per cent, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.9 per cent, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was up 0.8 per cent and the Jakarta Composite Index edged up 0.1 per cent.

In Singapore, market sentiment was also lifted by non-oil domestic exports (NODX) data released on Monday, which showed a 9 per cent year on year growth in June.

The biggest gainer among Singapore's blue-chip stocks was DFI Retail Group, which climbed 2.8 per cent or US$0.08 to close at US$2.97.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, was also among the top gainers. The counter rose 2.7 per cent or S$0.71 to S$27.41.

At the bottom of the table was Genting Singapore, which closed 1.9 per cent or S$0.015 lower at S$0.79 after dismissing rumours of a potential deal with MGM Resorts International. Genting Singapore was also the most heavily traded counter among the index constituents, with 38.9 million shares traded.

Thai Beverage was also among the biggest losers on the STI, falling 1.5 per cent or S$0.01 to close at S$0.645.

The trio of local lenders all finished higher. DBS gained 1 per cent or S$0.29 to close at S$29.96, UOB rose 1.4 per cent or S$0.37 to S$26.41 and OCBC closed up 1.1 per cent or S$0.12 at S$11.34.

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