Singapore stocks extend gains ahead of pivotal Fed meeting; STI up 1.2%

SINGAPORE shares marched forward to extend gains for the sixth straight day on Tuesday (Nov 1), shrugging off overnight losses on Wall Street.

The advance comes ahead of the Federal Reserve's next rate hike move at its policy meeting, which has drawn mixed expectations over a possible dovish pivot to close out the year.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 37.39 points or 1.2 per cent to 3,130.50. Almost all key gauges across the region, from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea to Australia, posted gains while Malaysia's key index retreated.

Analysts attributed the gains to buy-on-dips activity, despite latest manufacturing data that signalled moderation in growth momentum among Asian economies. Expectations over a possible reopening of China also lifted trading sentiment in the region.

On the local bourse, some 2.04 billion securities worth S$1.17 billion were traded. Gainers outpaced losers, with 402 counters up and 184 down. Gains were led by the Jardine stocks, DBS as well as Venture Corp.

In its Q3 business update, CapitaLand Ascendas Reit reported positive rental reversion of 5.4 per cent for lease renewals from the same period a year ago, although at a slower pace from Q2's 13.2 per cent. Its units closed S$0.01 or 0.4 per cent higher at S$2.63 on Tuesday.

CGS-CIMB Research has maintained its "add" rating on the counter, but lowered its target price to S$2.98 from S$3.21 owing to a higher cost of equity assumption. The house also cited favourable factors such as a diversified and resilient portfolio and healthy balance sheet for its rating.

Sembcorp Marine was the day's most active counter by volume with some 337 million shares traded. The counter rose S$0.004 or 3.2 per cent to close at S$0.131. The offshore & marine (O&M) giant last week announced sweetened terms for its merger with Keppel's O&M unit amid stronger order momentum.

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