Singapore shares closed 0.26 percent higher on Thursday, as the U.S. prepares an expanded military offensive against Islamist fighters in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. President Barack Obama told Americans in a speech late on Wednesday that he had authorized U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group. He vowed he would hunt down Islamic State militants "wherever they are."
Meanwhile, expectation of more stimulus measures from China turned higher as latest data showed China's consumer prices rise by 2.0 percent year-on-year in August, the weakest rate of increase since April and below market expectations of 2.2 percent. China's producer prices fall 1.2 percent year-on-year, accelerating a decline from a 0.9 percent decrease reported in July.
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 8.65 points to close at 3,347.28 points. Trading volume was 1.19 billion shares worth 855 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 219 to 181, while 543 stocks closed unchanged.
Among top actives, SIIC Environment Holdings rose 0.6 percent to 16.7 Singapore cents. It is buying two waste water treatment project companies in Dongguan for a total consideration of 166.6 million Chinese yuan. These target companies have total wastewater treatment design capacity of 110,000 tons per day. Including these transaction, SIIC has secured an effective 650,000 tons of capacity year to date.
See Hup Seng Limited gained 1.6 percent to 31 Singapore cents. It proposes 1-for-2 bonus warrant issue at exercise price of 20 Singapore cents per share, expecting to raise net proceeds of approximately 60.3 million Singapore dollars. The shareholders will be able to convert the warrants into ordinary shares at an exercise price of 20 Singapore cents each.
SembCorp Marine shed 0.3 percent to 3.86 Singapore dollars. It will invest approximately 222 million Singapore dollars in a multi- functional steel fabrication facility. It expects to fund investment through its recently announced 600 million Singapore dollar bond issue and through internally generated funds.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 0.6 percent to 62. 60 U.S. dollars, whereas OCBC Bank became one of the top losers by falling 0.4 percent to 9.72 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 6.13 Chinese yuan and 1.26 Singapore dollars)