Singapore stocks join global rally on dovish Yellen; UOB climbs

Singapore equities join global rally after Fed chair Janet Yellen initiated monetary tightening.

SGX logo. Reuters

Singapore equities snapped two sessions of declines on Thursday, in line with the rally in global stocks after Fed chair Janet Yellen signalled gradual monetary tightening.

The U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Fed to raise rates and begin winding down its massive bond portfolio, although low inflation and a low neutral rate may leave the central bank with diminished leeway, Yellen said on Wednesday.

Asian shares rallied, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rising 1.2 percent to its highest since May 2015.

Sentiment was upbeat after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high overnight.

The Straits Times Index gained 0.83 percent or 27 points to close at 3,235. It ended 0.31 percent lower on Wednesday, taking the year-to-date gains to 11.4 percent.

Lenders topped the list of gainers: United Overseas Bank added 1.5 percent, DBS Group rose 1.8 percent while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp was up 0.6 percent.

Shares of Global Logistic Properties were halted from Singapore trading pending the release of an announcement.

Commodity trader Noble Group was little changed after rising for three sessions.

About 2.4 billion shares worth S$1.1 billion changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 255 to 198.