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Singapore shares gain 0.8% after US capital control fears ease

SINGAPORE equities posted one of the region's best showings in a low-liquidity session on Tuesday after Washington eased fears over reports that the Trump administration is planning to institute capital controls on China.

The Straits Times Index (STI) opened 0.4 per cent higher, extending those gains as the session wore on to end at 3,146.03, an advance of 26.04 points or 0.8 per cent.

Other key Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose, with Australia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea posting gains. Markets in China are closed from Oct 1-7 for the week-long 70th anniversary celebrations. Hong Kong was also closed but will resume trading on Wednesday.

In Singapore, trading volume clocked in at 596.61 million securities, half of the daily average in the first eight months of 2019. Total turnover came to S$720.36 million, 67 per cent of the January-to-August daily average.

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Across the market, advancers trumped decliners 206 to 140. Just four of the blue-chip index's 30 counters ended in the red.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was the STI's most active counter with 30.5 million shares traded. Its shares, which have remained volatile for the past two months, closed up four Singapore cents or 4.2 per cent at S$1.00.

The banking trio also outperformed the benchmark. DBS Group Holdings added S$0.24 or 1 per cent at S$25.24, OCBC Bank gained S$0.13 or 1.2 per cent at S$10.99 while United Overseas Bank finished at S$25.90, up S$0.24 or 0.9 per cent.

With Keppel Reit's sale of Bugis Junction Towers to Village Prop for S$547.5 million, S$388 million more than the price it was acquired for in 2006, there was much attention on the Keppel counters.

At 11.2 million units changing hands, Keppel Reit, which closed unchanged at S$1.26, was the most active of the S-Reits. Meanwhile, the Reit's sponsor - conglomerate Keppel Corp - added four Singapore cents or 0.7 per cent to S$5.97.