Singapore shares eke out minor gains; United Overseas Bank up 1%

A trader looks at electronic screens on the dealing floor at DBS Bank's new headquarters in Singapore. REUTERS

Singapore shares rose on Wednesday, in line with the modest gains in Asian equities, supported by industrial stocks.

Asian shares edged higher after last week's sharp losses, despite a flat session on the Wall Street overnight, underpinned by economic growth recovery.

The U.S. Federal Reserve flagged interest policy tightening later this year and upgraded inflation outlook, at its policy meeting on Wednesday, Reuters reported. It kept interest rates on hold as expected.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 percent in early trade, slowly recovering after Tuesday's 1.4 percent fall.

At 0525 GMT, the Straits Times Index rose 0.17 percent or 6 points to 3,540. It ended 0.42 percent lower on Wednesday, taking the year-to-date gains to about 4 percent.

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The city-state's top lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp dropped 0.2 percent, United Overseas Bank gained one percent while DBS Group Holdings edged up 0.04 percent. Jardine Matheson Holdings rose as much as 2 percent.

Active stocks included, Hoe Leong climbing 20 percent to S$0.03 while Sino Cloud surged 100 percent to S$0.002 in afternoon trades.

Cruise ships operator Genting Hong Kong lost 2.2 percent after the company said it is expected to report another consolidated net loss for the year ended December 31.

Shares in Noble Group lost 4 percent. The commodities trader on Wednesday denied allegations by its shareholder Goldilocks Investment Company over market manipulation, negligent misstatements and minority oppression by the firm.

About 1.5 billion shares worth S$836 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 184 to 180.

This article was first published on February 1, 2018