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Singapore shares rise at Tuesday's open; STI up 0.5% to 3,161.97

SINGAPORE stocks opened stronger on Tuesday, with the Straits Times Index heading up 0.50 per cent or 15.64 points to 3,161.97 as at 9.02am ahead of improvements in most regional markets and meetings by various central banks.

Over the week, new stimulus measures by the European Central Bank are anticipated.

On the Singapore bourse, gainers outnumbered losers 65 to 45, or about three securities up for every two down, after 25.2 million securities worth S$62.9 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Singtel advanced 0.6 per cent or S$0.02 to S$3.24 with 2.9 million shares traded. Healthway Medical Corp held firm to S$0.025 with 2.6 million shares traded. Rex International Holding headed up 1.3 per cent or S$0.001 to S$0.081 with 2.4 million shares traded.

Financials were also trading stronger, with OCBC Bank up 0.5 per cent or S$0.05 to S$10.87; DBS Group Holdings up 0.7 per cent or S$0.17 to S$24.94; and United Overseas Bank up 1.7 per cent or S$0.43 to S$25.97.

Other active index stocks included Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, unchanged at S$3.17; and Jardine Matheson Holdings, up 1.4 per cent or US$0.75 to US$54.49. 

CapitaLand shares also were up 1.7 per cent or S$0.06 to S$3.60; while CapitaLand Mall Trust was down 1.49 per cent or S$0.04 to S$2.65. The property developer had on Monday night announced the establishment of Ascott Business Trust, which follows an earlier July announcement on the proposed combination of Ascott Residence Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust.

In the region, Tokyo shares opened stronger on a cheaper yen against the US dollar. The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.19 per cent or 39.75 points to 21,358.17 in early trade, while the Topix index rose 0.30 per cent, or 4.63 points, at 1,555.74. Meanwhile, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan remained unchanged.

In the United States, stocks on Wall Street were also stable, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending 0.1 per cent higher at 26,835.51. The S&P 500 was nearly flat at 2,978.43, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.2 per cent to 8,087.44. This comes ahead of August reports on consumer prices and retail sales.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.3 per cent, while the FTSE 100 dropped 0.6 per cent on stronger pound. 

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi said that optimism from the September Fed cut and Chinese stimulus had helped to carry Asia markets against the disappointing August trade figures at the start of the week.

"Amid the lack of fresh leads, regional indices may ensue in the lacklustre fashion, tracking that as seen from Wall Street," she added.