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Singapore shares gain 0.3% on Monday amid mixed performance in Asia

THE Singapore market managed to close on higher ground in a session of thin trading volumes, and the dim sentiment in China after Beijing said that it will slow the pace of policy easing after some signs of stabilisation in its economy.

Beijing's decision meant that it was a mixed start to the week for markets in Asia after they opened positively, taking cues from last Thursday's positive US corporate earnings reports and economic data, which saw risk sentiment among investors grow.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) closed at 3,357.70, up 10.12 points or 0.3 per cent.

Trading clocked in at 702.36 million securities, 56 per cent of the daily average over the first three months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$578.85 million, 57 per cent of the January-to-March daily average. Across the market, decliners outpaced advancers 184 to 174.

Compared to the broader market, the benchmark index fared better on the day, with 22 of the STI's 30 components ending in the black.

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Among them, Thai Beverage Public Company was the blue-chip index's most traded. The food and beverage player closed 0.5 cent or 0.6 per cent up at S$0.83 with 22.1 million shares changing hands.

Keppel Corporation shares caught the attention of traders in the first session since releasing its first-quarter results for fiscal 2019, adding S$0.16 or 2.4 per cent to end at S$6.90. Even though the conglomerate posted a 40 per cent lower net profit of S$202.9 million, its offshore and marine business division reversed its net loss of S$22.8 million from a year ago to post a profit of S$5.9 million.

Market watchers cited the segment's return to profitability as the most likely factor for the counter's gain on the day.

Among non-STI counters, Global Invacom Group (GInva) saw its share price surge by more than 80 per cent on heavy trading in the early session after the satellite communications equipment provider and Tactilis Pte Ltd mutually terminated a deal for the latter's Malaysian subsidiary.

GInva closed at 6.3 Singapore cents, up 2.1 cents or 50 per cent, with 45.9 million shares traded.

Elsewhere, Nico Steel was the bourse's most traded stock on the day. The metals supplier closed flat at 0.5 Singapore cent with 68 million shares changing hands.

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