Singapore shares closed 0.92 percent higher on Wednesday, buoyed by strong trade data which raised expectations for U.S. growth.
The U.S. trade deficit shrank to its lowest in four years, thanks mainly to a renaissance in energy production. But data out on Tuesday also showed core inflation in the Euro-zone slowed to a record low of just 0.7 percent in December, fanning fears of deflation ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting on Thursday.
Investors are now expecting a very dovish statement from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
CIMB Research said "we expect prices to fall below 3,025 points in due time. However, we would need to reassess our bearish view if prices take out the 3,260 points high."
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 29.77 points to close at 3,150.65. Trading volume soared to 3.75 billion shares worth 1.14 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners slightly outnumbered advancers 234 to 209, while 502 stocks closed unchanged.
Chasen Holdings rose 2.9 percent to 17.7 Singapore cents. It has set up its first facilitized refurbishment and testing center, which will open new opportunities to provide one-stop service by merging its new refurbishment facility into its integrated logistics value chain. It has also announced 10.6 million Singapore dollars of new contracts including a cross-border relocation works worth 7.4 million Singapore dollars for a South Korean company.
OUE gained 0.4 percent to 2.49 Singapore dollars. It will begin book-building for a commercial real estate investment trust listing on Jan. 13 that may raise as much as 355 million U.S. dollars. This will be the first major Singapore initial public offering this year.
Tiger Airways fell 1 percent to 51 Singapore cents. It has announced plans to enter into a strategic alliance with Cebu Pacific, the largest budget carriers based in the Philippines. Both parties will collaborate commercially and operationally on international and domestic air routes from the Philippines, thereby creating the biggest network of flights to the region.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 1.2 percent to 53. 66 U.S. dollars, while GuocoLand became one of the top losers by falling 2.2 percent to 2.19 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.27 Singapore dollars)