Singapore stocks close higher after overnight Wall Street rally

WITH Wall Street in a rally after a significant drop in the number of US job openings, the Singapore stock market and its regional counterparts closed higher on Wednesday (Oct 5), as investors believed that the Federal Reserve might now become less hawkish.

Singapore's blue-chip barometer, the Straits Times Index (STI), rose 14.33 points or 0.46 per cent to 3,153.23 points, with only five of the 30 constituents in the red: Singtel (-2.3 per cent), Sats (-1.3 per cent), Sembcorp Industries (-1.3 per cent), Wilmar International (-0.5 per cent) and SGX (-0.3 per cent).

A day after local banks stated their mortgage rates had been raised to as high as 3.85 per cent, their stock prices rose in tandem; UOB, OCBC and DBS jumped 1.3 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively to S$26.50, S$11.99 and S$33.42. Earlier, CLSA stated in its note that banks were the only clear sector beneficiary of the rate hikes by the Fed.

Sembcorp Marine clinched a contract by a tender from Petrobras worth US$3.1 billion, the Singapore provider of engineering solutions to the global offshore, marine and energy industries announced in a pre-trading statement on Wednesday. The counter closed 4.6 per cent or S$0.005 higher at S$0.114, and was the top-traded stock; its turnover was 220 million shares.

The broader market reported 230 losers against 307 gainers on a trading turnover of 1.66 billion securities worth S$1.15 billion.

The regional markets performed well. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 5.9 per cent higher at 18,087.97 points on Wednesday, after closing for a public holiday on Tuesday. The mainland Chinese bourses were closed for the Golden Week public holidays.

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