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Singapore stocks: STI resumes Monday afternoon at 3,142.96, up 0.9% on day

SINGAPORE shares climbed higher by Monday afternoon on hopes of progress on a US-China trade deal, with the Straits Times Index (STI) gaining 0.9 per cent, or 28.80 points to 3,142.96 as at 1.02pm. 

The benchmark index traded within a day range of 3,111.12 to 3,146.07, rising above 1 per cent at one point before the midday break. 

Advancers outnumbered decliners 163 to 137, after about 387.9 million shares worth S$318.6 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding gained 2.1 per cent, or two Singapore cents to 96 cents, with 16 million shares traded; while Thai Beverage surged 2.8 per cent, or 2.5 Singapore cents to 92.5 cents, with 12.4 million shares traded. 

Banking stocks regained their footing in the afternoon trade, with DBS adding 0.6 per cent, or 14 cents to S$24.92, United Overseas Bank gaining almost 1 per cent, or 25 cents to S$26.07, while OCBC Bank was flat at S$10.74. 

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Also buttressing the STI were Jardine Matheson Holdings which rose 2.8 per cent, or US$1.53 to US$55.80; and UOL Group which was up 2.7 per cent, or 20 Singapore cents to S$7.73. 

Other active index stocks included Singtel which gained 2.2 per cent, or seven cents to S$3.22, and Singapore Press Holdings which was trading 2.8 per cent or six cents higher to S$2.21 on a cum-dividend basis. 

Elsewhere, Asian equities were mixed as investors digested the latest trade developments, and waited for a slew of earnings reports.

Japan's Topix added 0.5 per cent as at 12.27pm, while Australian stocks fell 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng ticked 0.3 per cent higher, while China's Shanghai Composite was little changed. 

Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM noted that Asian stocks and currencies began the week on a positive note on the back of optimism from the US-China trade deal. He said: "Asian stocks are mixed, although most Asian currencies are pushing higher against the dollar, as investors process hopeful rhetoric that the US and China are edging closer towards a trade deal. China's vice-premier and chief negotiator, Liu He, said over the weekend that the two economic powerhouses have made 'substantial progress' towards the phase-one agreement."

Nonetheless, IG market strategist Pan Jingyi noted that Asian markets have "little in the pipeline to alter risk sentiment from last week".

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