Singapore shares closed 0.25 percent higher on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan eased its monetary policy, the latest central bank to offer stimulus to help the global economy find a firmer footing.
The Bank of Japan said it would increase its asset buying and loan program, currently its key monetary easing tool, by 10 trillion Japanese yen to 80 trillion Japanese yen (1.01 billion U. S. dollars). However, investors are reluctant to enter the market in big way as a sharp boost to asset prices inspired by the U.S. Federal Reserve last week has given way to worries about Spain's fiscal strains.
Spain continued to avoid making decisions on whether to seek an European Union bailout which is conditional for the European Central Bank to start buying the country's bonds to tame its borrowing costs. Spanish yields stayed under upward pressures on the uncertain outlook for Spain's fiscal woes.
DBS Group Research said "while the recent quantitative easing measures taken by the Fed and the European Central Bank have boosted the financial market sentiment, when and how well the global real economy will recover remains an open question."
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 7.65 points to close 3, 075.63 points. Trading volume was 2.15 billion shares worth 1.63 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 304 to 138, while 513 stocks closed unchanged.
Among the top actives, Shares of Thai Beverage jumped 13 percent to 39 Singapore cents. Thai Brewer and unlisted TCC Assets agree to vote in favor of Heineken's bid to acquire Fraser & Neave 's holdings in APB in exchange for the Dutch brewer's agreement not to bid for all of Fraser & Neave. Heineken's takeover of APB now appears to be essentially a done deal.
Tat Hong Holdings rose 1.5 percent to 1.28 Singapore dollars. It placed out 70 million new shares at 1.20 Singapore dollars per share to raise 82.1 million Singapore dollars, representing 13.9 percent of the company's existing shares. The proceeds are earmarked for expanding the company's crane fleet to meet rental demand, acquire land and buildings in Singapore and Malaysia and for general funding.
Epicentre Holdings surged 7 percent to 38 Singapore cents. DMG and Partners Securities Research upgrades the company which sells Apple products to "buy" from "neutral," and raised its target price to 41 Singapore cents from 31 Singapore cents, on expectations of an earnings improvement in the next quarter. The research house said "despite competition from Apple's online store, premium retailers like Epicentre will continue to see sales grow due to better deals such as extended warranties and discounts on associated hardware."
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 1.8 percent to 55. 71 U.S. dollars, while Great Eastern Holdings became one of the top losers by falling 1.2 percent to 14.39 Singapore dollars. (1 U. S. dollar = 79 Japanese yen, 1 U.S. dollar = 1.23 Singapore dollars)