SINGAPORE, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.78 percent higher on Thursday, buoyed by strong U.S. data and another record close in U.S. markets.
U.S. stock indices hit fresh highs overnight after the Institute for Supply Management's index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 59.8 in September, its highest reading since August 2005. The strong data pointed to the resilience of the vast U.S. services sector despite disruption from two powerful hurricanes.
Maybank-Kim Eng Research said "range-bound trading could persist despite records highs achieved in the U.S. market, as investors position away from sectors facing headwinds such as telecoms and transport. Technically, the Straits Times Index sees support at 3,190 points with topside resistance capped at 3,270 points."
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 25.19 points to 3,261.84 points. Trading volume was 1.16 billion shares worth 957 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 258 to 158.
Keppel Corp rose 1.1 percent to 6.59 Singapore dollars. It secured a major floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit conversion contract from SBM Offshore for an undisclosed sum. Following conversion from a Very Large Crude Carrier, the FPSO will be subsequently deployed to the Liza field in offshore Guyana in South America.
United Global had no trading throughout the day. It proposed a joint venture with Japan-based M-TechX to manufacture oil absorbing nano-fiber materials for various industrial and commercial industries in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore. The joint venture will leverage on United Global's extensive distribution channels across 30 countries for the super-absorbent nano-fibers produced by M-TechX, which owns the proprietary technology for mass production of nano-fibers. United Global will provide four million U.S. dollar interest-free loan to the joint venture company for working capital.
Among top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 0.2 percent to 64.19 U.S. dollars, whereas Singapore Press Holdings became one of the top losers by falling 1.1 percent to 2.68 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.36 Singapore dollars)