Singapore stocks gain as lenders advance; MindChamps jumps 9% on debut

Singapore stocks advanced on Friday, led by lenders such as DBS Group but gains were capped on subdued Asia amidst an ongoing rout in the Chinese bond market.

sgx
A Singapore Exchange logo sits outside their head office in Singapore. REUTERS

Singapore stocks advanced on Friday, led by lenders such as DBS Group but gains were capped on subdued Asia amidst an ongoing rout in the Chinese bond market.

Asian stocks traded mix as Japanese equities declined after a holiday, while a sudden sell-off that sent Chinese equities plunging on Thursday fizzled.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat,while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.6 percent.

The Straits Times Index rose 0.55 percent or 19 points to 3,442. It ended 0.2 percent lower on Thursday, taking the year-to-date performance to about 19 percent.

Positive economic data back home also lifted sentiment. Singapore's economy grew much faster than initially estimated in the third quarter, beating analysts' expectations, helped by strength in manufacturing activity.

United Overseas Bank gained 0.6 percent, DBS Group Holdings advanced 1.5 percent while Oversea-Chinese Bank added 0.6 percent.

DBS Group Holdings has become Southeast Asia's biggest company by market capitalization, dethroning previous holder Singapore Telecommunications.

Shares in MindChamps Preschool, the largest operator and franchisor of premium range preschool centres in Singapore, jumped 9 percent above the IPO price in Friday's debut.

Engineering and construction contractor Civmec rose 7.3 percent after the company said it would collaborate with Australian ship building firm Austal in the A$4 billion offshore patrol vessel program.

But phosphate mining company AsiaPhos declined as much as 20 percent as two of its mines in China stopped operations.

Shares in the embattled commodities trader Noble fell as much as 9 percent to S$0.17 after it transferred more than 14 million shares to employees who are leaving the company.

About 2.6 billion shares worth S$912 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 243 to 172.

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