Singapore stocks set for 4th straight weekly gain; Sembcorp Marine soars 8%

SGX log. Reuters

Singapore shares rose on Friday and were poised to finish their fourth consecutive week higher, helped by gains in lenders such as OCBC and DBS Group.

Asian shares hit fresh record highs and were headed for a sixth week of gains.

Risk appetite improved on optimism over global economic growth and improved corporate earnings. China's better-than-expected growth data further supported sentiment.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3 percent to a record top. The index had climbed 1.2 percent on the week, during which it rode a surge in global equities, Reuters data showed.

At 0530 GMT, the Straits Times Index was up 0.45 percent or 16 points to 3,537. It ended 0.58 percent lower on Thursday, taking the year-to-date gains to about 3.5 percent.

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The city-state's top lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp gained about 1 percent while United Overseas Bank and DBS Group Holdings rose 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent.

Active stocks included, IPCO International climbing 33 percent to S$0.004 while Blumont gained 25 percent to S$0.001 in afternoon trades.

Shares in Sembcorp Marine jumped 8 percent following an upgrade by Nomura.

Utilities and integrated services provider Sembcorp Industries jumped 5 percent amidst speculation about a spin-off in India. The company clarified to say "there are no developments" with regards to the initial public offer plans of a Sembcorp unit in India.

About 739 million shares worth S$692 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 209 to 142.

This article was first published on January 19, 2018