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STI extends gains, grows 1.34%

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Gainers outnumber losers 210 to 154, after about 1.6 billion shares change hands

Singapore stocks extended gains from late last week, with the Straits Times Index (STI) rising 40.89 points, or 1.34 per cent to 3,093.38.

Gainers outnumbered losers 210 to 154, after about 1.6 billion shares worth $853.8 million changed hands. Tech counters as well as offshore-and-marine and oil-linked penny stocks hogged the limelight.

Electronics manufacturing services provider Venture Corp rose 77 cents or 5.2 per cent to $15.49, while contract manufacturer Hi-P International rose 25 cents or 30.9 per cent to $1.06, and consumer electronics maker Creative Technology added 19 cents or 3.4 per cent to $5.79.

This could be due to expectations that this year's Cyber Monday deals will exceed the US$6.6 billion (S$9 billion) quantum last year.

Market tracker Adobe Analytics predicts online retailers will see US$7.8 billion in sales, making it the US' single largest online shopping day - eclipsing Black Friday (US$6.2 billion in estimated online sales) and Thanksgiving (US$3.7 billion).

Another driver could have been the surprise rebound in Singapore's October manufacturing data.

In comments, United Overseas Bank senior economist Alvin Liew said: "After a brief and slight contraction of -0.1 per cent year on year in September, Singapore's industrial production rebounded smartly to record a 4.3 per cent year-on-year expansion in October, easily beating the Reuters' consensus estimates of 2.3 per cent and our forecast of -5.0 per cent."

The electronics cluster in fact continued to decline for a second straight month in October, but by a smaller -2.7 per cent, compared to -6.1 per cent in September, he added.

Counters such as Ezion Holdings (up 0.3 cent or 7.5 per cent to $0.043), Rex International (up 0.2 cent or 2.9 per cent to seven cents), and Vallianz (down 0.1 cent or 10 per cent to $0.009) dominated trading activity, with a combined 124 million shares traded.

This is as oil prices yesterday clawed back losses from a nearly 8 per cent plunge on Black Friday, although Brent crude oil futures still failed to hold above US$60 a barrel.

Most Asian markets rose yesterday, amid anticipation of the upcoming weekend meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 Buenos Aires summit. Investors expect the meeting to provide hints of whether there will be a softening in each side's stance in the Sino-US trade war.

Markets in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia all gained.

The only exceptions were markets in Australia and China. In the latter, the Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.1 per cent at 2,575.8, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.1 per cent, shedding gains in the morning session to finish weaker for a third straight day.

Analysts put this down to caution about whether there will be an agreement at the end of the G-20 meeting, and a continued slump in oil prices despite a slight recovery yesterday.

Reuters cited Chinese economists and academics as saying that China's main goal at the G-20 meeting is to get the US to refrain from raising the tariffs in January, and Mr Xi will not be bullied into making a bad deal.

On the local bourse, shares of Cityneon closed flat at $1.31 after independent financial adviser Novus Corporate Finance said the terms of the cash offer for existing shareholders at $1.30 a share is "fair and reasonable".

So did shares of Keppel Corp at $6.16, after it reported that two of its data centre units have agreed to develop and operate a maiden project in Johor with a targeted 2020 completion date.

For full listings of SGX prices, go to http://btd.sg/BTmkts