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STI up 30.47 points on firm regional sentiment; beneficiaries of Covid-19 pandemic bounce higher

SINGAPORE stocks rallied strongly on Tuesday after an extended weekend, amid generally firm sentiment across the region and the futures market pointing towards further gains on Wall Street.

The market was also anticipating further fiscal stimulus to be unveiled by Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat at his fourth Budget statement for the year on Tuesday.

This came just as the Ministry of Trade and Industry said Singapore’s GDP would shrink by between 7 per cent and 4 per cent this year.

MTI was previously forecasting a contraction of between 1 per cent and 4 per cent.

The local market benchmark Straits Times Index closed at 2,530.30 on Tuesday, up 30.47 points or 1.22 percent.

Much of the gains were driven by the three local banks, which were the most heavily-traded stocks by value and collectively account for more than a third of the STI.

DBS closed at S$19.44, up 1.36 per cent. OCBC closed at S$8.61, up 1.41 per cent. UOB closed at S$19.69, up 1.18 per cent.

Among the smaller stocks, there was renewed enthusiasm for beneficiaries of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In particular, Riverstone jumped 13.9 per cent to close at S$2.13, marking a new 52-week high. Its previous 52-week high was S$1.97.

The manufacturer of nitrile gloves achieved a 54.3 per cent rise on Q1 2020 earnings to RM46.6 million, on a 16.2 per cent rise in revenue to RM279.4 million.

It plans to raise its capacity by up to 1.4 billion pieces of gloves per annum to bring total annual capacity to between 14 billion and 15 billion pieces by 2023.

Elsewhere, fellow glove maker UG Healthcare climbed 12.12 per cent to close at S$0.37, while personal protective equipment maker Medtecs International rose 7.34 per cent to S$0.19.

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