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Singapore shares rise 0.6% amid thawing US-China trade tensions

SINGAPORE stocks rose on Tuesday, erasing the previous day's losses, as further signs of thawing tensions between the US and China bolstered optimism.

The Straits Times Index (STI) advanced throughout the day before finishing at 3,270.54, up 0.6 per cent or 19.47 points. Across Asia, most indices also gained, except for those in China and Hong Kong.

"Asian markets are expected to sing to the cheer on Wall Street with the alleviation of US-China trade tensions carrying this week," IG Asia said in a note on Tuesday.

Market sentiment had improved ahead of the signing of the "Phase One" trade deal, set to take place in Washington on Wednesday, but was boosted after the US lifted the currency-manipulator label off China.

On the local bourse, advancers and decliners were almost even at 203 to 202. Trading volume and total turnover were higher than the previous day's, with 1.5 billion securities worth S$1.27 billion changing hands on Tuesday.

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Twenty of the benchmark's 30 counters finished higher.

Among STI counters, financial stocks led the gains. DBS Group rose 0.58 per cent to S$26.25, while United Overseas Bank added 0.45 per cent to S$26.94.

Exceptions to the benchmark's counters' generally rosy performance included Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and SATS.

Shares of media and property group SPH fell 1.84 per cent to S$2.14 on Tuesday, following a 17.2 per cent drop in net profit to S$46.3 million for the first quarter ended November 2019. SPH, which publishes The Business Times, was hit by lower print advertising revenue and one-off retrenchment costs, even though the property segment proved to be a bright spot.

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