Singapore shares closed 0.44 percent higher on Thursday, as Greece's parliament voted to approve the country's bailout plan and U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said U.S. interest rates are "likely" to rise this year.
The Greek parliament passed a sweeping bundle of austerity measures demanded by European creditors, a price to pay for opening talks on a bailout package that near-bankrupt Athens needs to stay in the eurozone.
Meanwhile, in her semiannual testimony to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, Yellen repeated her view that the Federal Reserve will likely hike interest rates this year if the U.S. economy expands as expected, and cited improvement in the labor market.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 14.59 points to 3,353.45 points. Trading volume was 1.14 billion shares worth 919 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 235 to 144, while 576 stocks did not move.
Singapore Airlines rose 1.1 percent to 11.30 Singapore dollars. It reported weaker performance for its passenger business in June. The carrier flew 1.58 million passengers last month, dropping 0.9 percent on-year. Load factor slipped to 79.9 percent from 81.5 percent a year ago. Load factor for routes to East Asia, Americas and Europe all dropped due to weaker demand and competitive pressures. Cargo load factor also dropped from 62.7 percent in June 2014 to 60.3 percent last month. Weaker demand on European routes and lower outbound demand from Americas were the key factors.
Oxley Holdings jumped 13.6 percent to 46 Singapore cents. The Singapore-listed property developer announced that it would be taking a 20 percent stake in the enlarged share capital of London- based developer Galliard Group for 78 million U.S. dollars. It said it is looking to leverage on Galliard's development expertise and network in Britain. Galliard is the second-largest house builder in London, and London's property market is among the most expensive in the world.
Among top gainers, Jardine Strategic rose 1.1 percent to 32.36 U.S. dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 1.2 percent to 55.82 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.37 Singapore dollars)