SINGAPORE: Singapore shares kicked off on Thursday morning despite a sluggish global performance.

The Business Times reports, as of 9:01 am, the Straits Times Index (STI) made a significant leap of 14.91 points or 0.5%, reaching 3,307.6.

In the broader market, the number of losers slightly outweighed gainers, with 74 losers compared to 49 gainers. A total of 68.7 million securities, valued at S$106.2 million, changed hands during the morning session.

Among the most traded counters by volume was Seatrium, which witnessed a 1% drop, closing at S$0.097 after 31.9 million securities were exchanged. Similarly, Meta Health experienced a 10% decline, settling at S$0.009 with 2.5 million shares traded. Thai Beverage also saw a dip of 1%, ending at S$0.49 after 1.9 million securities were transacted.

However, the spotlight remained on banking stocks, which showed promising gains at the start of the trading day. DBS surged by 2.5% or S$0.86, reaching S$35.76. OCBC climbed by 0.9% or S$0.13 to S$14.38, while UOB saw a modest increase of 0.8% or S$0.25, reaching S$30.65.

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Before the market opened, DBS reported a 15% year-on-year increase in net profit for the first quarter of March 2024, amounting to S$2.95 billion, surpassing the Bloomberg survey’s consensus forecast of S$2.5 billion by five analysts.

The bank noted that excluding exceptional items, such as integration costs for Citibank Taiwan, net profit would have stood at S$2.96 billion.

The global market scenario remained mixed. On Wall Street, stocks ended Wednesday’s session on a largely lower note, despite an initial boost following Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s announcement of maintaining steady interest rates and hinting at unlikely further rate hikes.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped by 0.3% to 15,605.48, while the S&P 500 saw a similar decline of 0.3%, closing at 5,018.39. In contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to secure a marginal gain of 0.2%, reaching 37,903.29.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 faced a setback on Tuesday, primarily due to lower-than-expected earnings from the region’s top car manufacturers. The Stoxx 600 ended 0.8% lower, settling at 504.31. /TISG

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