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Singapore: Shares advance at Wednesday's open; STI up 3.5%

SINGAPORE shares continued their recovery at Wednesday's open, tracking rebounds in the US and Europe markets on investor optimism over recent stimulus measures to tackle the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) rose 3.5 per cent or 81.55 points to 2,443.60 as at 9.03am on Wednesday.

Gainers outnumbered losers 181 to 14, after 73.3 million securities worth S$116.6 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Rex International, which rose 4.4 per cent or 0.4 Singapore cent to 9.5 cents, with 6.9 million shares traded. Other heavily traded securities include Singtel, which gained 3.6 per cent or S$0.09 to S$2.56, with 6.6 million shares traded, and Genting Singapore, which was up 4.4 per cent or 2.5 Singapore cents to 59 cents, with 3.4 million shares traded. 

Banking stocks rose in early morning trade. DBS was trading up 3 per cent or S$0.55 at S$18.76, UOB rose 3.2 per cent or S$0.60 to S$19.40, while OCBC Bank gained 4.5 per cent or S$0.37 to S$8.68. All three are trading on a cum-dividend basis.

Other active index counters include the Singapore Exchange, which was up 4.3 per cent or S$0.37 to S$8.96, and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, up 4.9 per cent or S$0.12 to S$2.58.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened stronger on Wednesday, following a record-setting US rally and investor relief over the Tokyo Olympics being postponed and not cancelled. The Nikkei 225 index jumped 3.5 per cent to 18,716.44, while the Topix was up 3.1 per cent at 1,374.15.

In the US, Wall Street stocks saw their best performance in nearly 90 years on Tuesday. Indices rallied on hopes that lawmakers would soon agree on a massive stimulus package to stave off the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 11.4 per cent to 20,704.91, its biggest one-day percentage increase since 1933. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq gained 8.1 per cent to close at 7,417.86, while the S&P 500 closed 9.4 per cent higher at 2,447.33. 

Shares in Europe surged on Tuesday and recovered the week's losses. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index jumped 8.4 per cent in its strongest session since late-2008. Nevertheless, the index was still roughly 30 per cent down from a record peak hit in February.