Singapore stocks rise for 5th straight session amid Fed pivot hopes; STI up 1%

SINGAPORE shares began the week on an encouraging note, taking the cue from Wall Street's rally last Friday (Oct 28) and optimism across most key bourses in the region.

Investors shrugged off weak manufacturing data out of China and looked ahead to the US Federal Reserve meeting this week.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 33.92 points or 1.1 per cent to 3,093.11 to log its fifth consecutive gain. Most other key bourses in the region - from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia to Malaysia - finished higher, while China and Hong Kong bucked the trend.

IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong said: "Some expectations that the Fed could guide for a lower tightening gear this week could be at play."

DWS's US economist Christian Scherrmann said: "It seems that another 75-basis-point increase in its benchmark interest rate is pretty much a given for the November Fed meeting which concludes on Nov 2. The big question is what the Federal Open Market Committee will do at its December meeting.

"While the usual array of economic data clearly supports another bigger-than-usual step in November, the Fed has recently begun again to put out the idea that rate hikes need time to unfold their magic. It might therefore be the right moment to recalibrate."

The Bank of England is also set to meet this week with expectations of a big tightening of monetary policy to stem inflation.

On the local bourse, some 1.82 billion securities worth S$1.68 billion were traded. Gainers outpaced losers, with 292 counters up and 247 down.

Gains were led by the three banks, with UOB posting the biggest jump, buoyed by record-high third-quarter earnings released last week.

Raffles Medical Group issued its Q3 report card on Monday, showing a 62.1 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to S$38.3 million on the back of a nearly 7 per cent rise in revenue to S$199.5 million a year ago. The counter rose S$0.06 or 4.7 per cent to S$1.33.

Wilmar International last Friday reported a 35 per cent jump in Q3 net profit to US$766 million from a year ago, while revenue rose 10 per cent to US$19 billion, owing to better sales across the group's feed and industrial products, as well as food products businesses. The counter closed S$0.28 or 7.8 per cent higher at S$3.88.

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