SINGAPORE, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Singapore shares closed 0.5 percent higher on Thursday, after investors took comfort in no negative surprises from U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
Trading was muted due to holiday closures in markets of China and Hong Kong. While President Trump's speech to Congress offered no fresh insight for trade talks between China and the U.S., he did little to remove U.S. Federal government shutdown concerns.
U.S markets ended slightly lower on Wednesday as investors remained on edge with the deadline for Congress to reach a deal on keeping the government open fast approaching with little sign of compromise.
Maybank-Kim Eng Research said "technically, the Strait Times Index could drift towards the next support at 3,150 points after breaching the 20-day moving average at 3,190 points. Overhead resistance lies at 3,250 points."
Singapore benchmark Strait Times Index rose 16.08 points to 3,200.64 points. Trading volume was merely 818 million shares worth 920 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 205 to 138.
Among top actives, Alliance Mineral jumped 15.2 percent to 20.5 Singapore cents. It recorded monthly production of 13,160 tons of lithium concentrate for January 2019 from its Bald Hill mine in Western Australia. 131,400 tons of ore was processed at an average throughput of 237 tons per hour with 87.6 percent net utilization, which equates to 23 percent more throughput than December 2018. An additional 30,000-ton lithium concentrate is expected to be shipped during March quarter.
Sino Grandness rose 9.6 percent to 5.7 Singapore cents. It updated that it is still in negotiation with lender and second largest shareholder, Soleado Holdings on the extension of repayment of a 20 million U.S. dollar convertible loan plus interest outstanding. The original maturity of the loan was extended from May 17, 2018 to no later than January 6, 2019. Sino Grandness is currently preparing to repatriate funds back from China by way of dividend, which require regulatory approval. As at September 2018, its books showed total debts of 1.1 billion Chinese yuan against cash balances of 416.9 million Chinese yuan.
Among top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 1.3 percent to 66.82 U.S. dollars, while Great Eastern Holdings became one of the top losers by falling 0.7 percent to 25.83 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 6.742 Chinese yuan and 1.36 Singapore dollars)