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STI up 0.5% on fresh hopes of virus vaccine and EU stimulus deal

SINGAPORE shares rose on Tuesday, reversing Monday's lacklustre performance amid renewed hopes for a virus vaccine and the European Union stimulus deal. 

Promising news from clinical trials allowed investors to temporarily place fears of Covid-19 resurgence and extended lockdowns aside, pushing equities to positive territory. Adding to the slew of good news on Tuesday was European leaders successfully clinching a 750-billion-euro (S$1.19 trillion) stimulus deal. 

The Straits Times Index (STI) tracked overnight gains on Wall Street, which was boosted by a strong showing from technology giants. The STI was up 0.5 per cent or 13.15 points to 2,629.45 for the day.

Gainers outnumbered losers 314 to 162, after 1.79 billion securities worth S$1.31 billion changed hands. 

Said OCBC Investment Research on Tuesday: “Technology shares pushed the Nasdaq to a record closing high, as promising trial results from potential Covid-19 vaccines helped investors look beyond spiralling new cases of the disease.”

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Among the STI constituents, City Developments emerged as the top performer, gaining 2.2 per cent or S$0.18 to S$8.50.

The only three STI constituents that ended in the red for the day were Hongkong Land, which fell 2 per cent, Dairy Farm International (down 0.9 per cent) and Wilmar International (-0.5 per cent).

Thai Beverage and Singtel were the two most heavily traded STI stocks. Thai Beverage closed flat at S$0.66 after some 46.8 million shares changed hands; Singtel ended the day up 0.4 per cent to S$2.54, with more than 22.7 million shares having changed hands. 

The STI's performance was in line with regional benchmarks, which mostly ended higher on the back of improved sentiments from the possible virus vaccine and the European Union stimulus deal. 

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