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STI builds on strong start to the week, rises 4.1% on Tuesday

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) built on its positive start to the week, finishing the Tuesday session up 101.30 points or 4.1 per cent to 2,571.89. All 30 of the benchmark's counters notched up gains.

Market sentiment continues to improve on signs the Covid-19 spread in the West is slowing, and hopes are growing that major oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia will agree to an output cut by week's end.

Locally at least, the improved mood is also being buttressed by broad-based measures announced by the Singapore government in its S$5.1 billion Solidarity Budget to support the economy.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, equity benchmarks in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand finished higher. The standout performer for the day was Thailand's SET Index, which jumped 76.11 points or 6.7 per cent to close at 1,214.95. Bucking the trend was Australia's ASX 200 Index and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index, which dropped 0.7 per cent each.

While recent performance suggests investors are being cautiously optimistic, Oanda Asia-Pacific senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley pointed out that the "potential light at the end of the tunnel is a weak one though, and any number of things could come together to switch it off".

The best performer among STI constituents was City Developments, which advanced S$0.79 or 11.3 per cent to S$7.80. Before market open, the property developer increased its stake in IREIT Global to 20.87 per cent from 12.52 per cent.

Meanwhile, units in Europe-focused property trust IREIT Global jumped S$0.10 or 19.2 per cent to S$0.62.

The most heavily traded stock on the STI was Genting Singapore, which closed 3.5 Singapore cents or 5.1 per cent higher at 72.5 cents; 75.9 million shares changed hands.

In the second line, Biolidics shares closed unchanged at S$0.27. On Monday, the cancer-diagnostics company's Covid-19 test kit was approved for use in the European Union. This follows the approval granted by the authorities in Singapore and the Philippines last week.

Biolidics shares have risen 22.7 per cent since March 30, when it first unveiled that the rapid test kit could be available by month’s end.

Across the Singapore market, advancers trumped decliners 386 to 84, with 1.78 billion securities valued at S$1.98 billion traded.

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