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Singapore stocks rebound from Wednesday's loss, STI up 0.41%

DESPITE opening lower on Thursday, Singapore shares picked up ground as the day progressed to end in positive territory, rebounding from Wednesday's loss.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) gained 0.41 per cent or 11.39 points to close at 2,822.34, after some 1.61 billion securities worth S$1.08 billion changed hands. Advancers outnumbered decliners 210 to 206 for the day.

Among the STI constituents, Jardine Strategic Holdings emerged top of the table, gaining 2.49 per cent or US$0.63 to close at US$25.93.

Transport-related counters Singapore Airlines (SIA) and ComfortDelGro also ended the day in the black. SIA gained 0.92 per cent or S$0.04 to close at S$4.39; ComfortDelGro closed up 0.62 per cent or S$0.01 at S$1.63.

Amid a report that Singapore ride-hailer Grab is close to a merger with regional rival Gojek, DBS Group Research said in a note on Thursday that it sees this as a "positive with less competition expected and potential consolidation of private rental fleet rising from the Covid-19 fallout".

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The research team currently has a "buy" call on ComfortDelGro, with a target price of S$1.96.

Sats, on the other hand, ended lower on Thursday, slipping 0.48 per cent or S$0.02 to close at S$4.13.

Across the region, Asian markets similarly ended the day up.

The Nikkei 225 Index inched up 0.03 per cent or 8.39 points to 26,809.37, while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.74 per cent or 195.92 points to close at 26,728.50.

South Korean shares extended gains on Thursday to close at a record high, on a boost from chip and auto stocks. The benchmark Kospi closed up 0.76 per cent or 20.32 points at 2,696.22, marking its third straight session of gains.

Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said that while there are "growing concerns" that vaccination rates in Asean will be enough to eradicate the coronavirus substantially by the end of 2021, "the much clearer view across the valley to economic recovery will lead to risk premium compression and eventually lead to more upside for Asia stocks".

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