Singapore stocks gain for third day; SembCorp Marine climbs 9%

SGX Logo. Reuters

Singapore shares gained for a third straight session on Tuesday, led by property developers and engineering services firms.

Asian shares dropped, dragged by miners on account of weaker Chinese iron ore prices.

Chinese iron ore futures plunged two percent, as stockpiles of the steel-making commodity at China's ports surged to the highest since at least 2004, Reuters reported.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent in early trade, Reuters data showed. U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday on Monday.

Investors are keeping an eye on China's yuan, which is trading at the strongest level in more than two years. Speculation is going on about possible steps to cool its gains.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.39 percent or 14 points to 3,550. It ended 0.45 percent higher on Monday, taking the year-to-date gains to about 4 percent.

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Among the lenders, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp added 0.5 percent, United Overseas Bank shed 0.04 percent while DBS Group Holdings dropped 0.5 percent.

Active stocks included, AsiaPhos climbing 10 percent to S$0.03 while Blumont declined 20 percent to S0.004 in afternoon trades.

Property developer City Developments advanced one percent, SembCorp Marine jumped nine percent while conglomerate Keppel Corp added two percent.

Singapore's largest taxi company ComfortDelGro gained 0.5 percent amidst reports company is set to introduce dynamic fare pricing for its 13,600 cabs from January 19.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and StarHub renewed their strategic partnership for a further two-year term and said they would also collaborate in the areas of healthcare, retail and education. Shares in SPH fell 0.4 percent while StarHub was unchanged at S$2.92.

About 2.1 billion shares worth S$1.1 billion changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 272 to 182.

This article was first published on January 16, 2018