SINGAPORE stocks trudged to their fourth straight session in the black yesterday, buoyed by continued hope of more economic stimulus measures in the US and possibly Europe.
However, yesterday's gains were muted in contrast to the brighter spells of the previous three trading days. The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) added 13.27 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 2,855.68.
Some investors cheered the prospect of a further injection of capital from Washington, but others chose to sit on the sidelines to await the end of the US Federal Reserve meeting last night. The added caution was reflected in the modest volume - 1.34 billion shares worth $964.1 million.
Mr Avis Wang, premium client manager at IG Markets Singapore, noting yesterday's wary mood, said: 'Investors looked towards the US Fed meeting this evening in the hope of further stimulus, but knowing surprise and disappointment are always possible in the current economic conditions.'
Most key regional bourses finished in positive territory, with Japan up 1.11 per cent, Hong Kong 0.53 per cent in front and Australia 0.22 per cent higher.
STI component stocks ended mainly higher, with 18 gainers, eight losers and four unchanged.
Wilmar International was the star performer, rising as much as 7 per cent in early trade before closing 15 cents higher at $3.70.
Dealers said its recovery after last month's slump could be due to investor appetite for previously battered commodity shares.
Banking stocks all gained, with DBS Group Holdings up 15 cents at $13.77, United Overseas Bank also higher by the same amount at $18.50, and OCBC Bank adding five cents to $8.81.
Property counters were mixed, with City Developments six cents up at $10.78, but CapitaLand down four cents at $2.69.
STX OSV was on investors' radar after it said it had clinched contracts worth 700 million Norwegian kroner (S$151 million) to build two platform supply vessels. Shares of the shipbuilder rose 1.5 cents to $1.535.
OCBC Investment Research, which has a buy call with a $2 price target, noted: 'This underscores the buoyancy of the offshore market.'
AMP Capital Investors' head of investment strategy and chief economist Shane Oliver said: 'Investors remain caught between near-term uncertainty and risks, (and) good value in shares and the prospect of more policy stimulus. We still see shares higher by the year-end.'