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Singapore shares close 0.3% higher on Monday

SINGAPORE shares closed slightly higher on Monday, as gains fuelled by the possibility of a US-China trade deal were capped by worries over local gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

The Straits Times Index gained 0.34 per cent or 10.48 points to 3,124.45. This followed flash estimates for Singapore's Q3 GDP that showed growth of just 0.1 per cent year-on-year, unchanged from the previous quarter.

On a seasonally-adjusted, quarterly basis, GDP was up 0.6 per cent, narrowly avoiding a technical recession of two straight quarters of quarter-on-quarter decline.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore eased monetary policy on Monday, stating that it expects GDP growth to pick up modestly in 2020 but for output to remain below potential, resulting in muted inflationary pressures.

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About 1.12 billion securities worth S$842.05 million changed hands on Monday, with losers slightly outnumbering gainers 198 to 196.

Rex International was the most heavily traded counter, retreating 0.3 Singapore cent to S$0.079 with 42.8 million shares traded. It was followed by Singapore eDevelopment, which gained 0.2 cent to S$0.047 on a volume of 38.3 million shares.

Y Ventures saw unusually heavy trading, prompting a query from the Singapore Exchange Regulation. About 30 million of its shares changed hands, with its share price losing 2.6 Singapore cents or 18.84 per cent to S$0.112.