SINGAPORE shares hit another high for the year yesterday as investors reacted positively to new manufacturing data from China.
The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 14.68 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 3,051.08 points - the third straight day of rises this week.
Yesterday's rise came after China announced that its factory purchasing managers' index was 50.1 for last month.
This was below market expectations but a reading above 50 indicates expansion, so factory output on the mainland is still growing, albeit at a snail's pace.
"In the current environment, bad economic data is good news as it increases the chances of easing monetary policy in China," said Mr Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.
"While stimulus packages are being quietly rolled out regionally, the markets would love to see a national stimulus package to show how keen the Chinese government is on guiding the economy away from any sort of hard landing."
The STI's gainers included Hongkong Land, which jumped 50 US cents, or 8.3 per cent, to US$6.50.
The company has property developments in China and its shares may have been aided by hopes of an interest rate cut on the mainland.
Global Logistic Properties - another company with businesses in China - was up eight cents, or 3.6 per cent, to $2.33.
DBS Group Holdings rose seven cents to $14.81.
Property giant CapitaLand rose four cents to $3.04 after announcing that second-quarter net profit dipped 3.3 per cent to $385.9 million.
Volumes across the market were thinner than on Tuesday. About 1.19 billion shares worth $1.01 billion changed hands, down from Tuesday's 1.54 billion shares worth $1.58 billion.
Among stocks outside the STI, Yamada Green Resources plunged 2.2 cents, or 13.4 per cent, to 14.2 cents.
It warned on Tuesday that it expects a loss for the fourth quarter ended June 30 due to changes in fair value of biological assets, lower gross profit from sales of self-cultivated fungi, and higher operating expenses due to payment under its performance share plan.
However, the firm expects to remain profitable for the full year.
BH Global Marine was flat at 19 cents. On Tuesday, the company reported a 49 per cent drop in second-quarter net profit to $2 million. Revenue for the three months to June 30 fell by 32 per cent to $27.9 million.