SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Positive sentiment across global markets gave investors all the incentive they needed to send local shares higher on Friday and end the week on a buoyant note.
The improved mood lifted the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) by 9.05 points, or 0.29 per cent, to close at 3,173.91 – up 2 per cent from last Friday’s close.
The broader market reflected the optimism with gainers thumping losers 298 to 188 on trade of 1.83 billion shares worth $1.26 billion.
Venture Corp was the top STI gainer, climbing 2.8 per cent to close at $19.04. Other local tech firms such as AEM, UMS and Frencken also ended in the black.
The STI’s biggest decliner was Jardine Cycle & Carriage, which snapped a 12-day winning streak to fall 2.6 per cent to $23.04.
Hatten Land was the most actively traded by volume, with 321.9 million shares changing hands. It climbed 12.9 per cent to 7.9 cents.
The gains in the local market were mirrored across the region, following a rally on Thursday in Wall Street, where all three major United States indexes rose by more than 1.5 per cent.
Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley noted that US data overnight swung sentiment back into positive territory, boosted by strong earnings from US banking heavyweights. “That pent-up buy-the-dip demand has, unsurprisingly, flowed through to Asian markets to varying degrees,” he said.
Major indexes in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan saw strong gains – rising between 1.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent – while those in Shanghai and South Korea climbed between 0.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent.
Australia’s share market also closed higher, adding 0.7 per cent, with most sectors up as investors reacted to surprise news that New South Wales will be open to vaccinated travellers from next month with no need to quarantine.
Travel stocks were among the big gainers, with Flight Centre up a robust 3.7 per cent.